"President Trump's legal team is wrestling with how much to cooperate with the special counsel, ... an internal debate that led to an angry confrontation last week between two White House lawyers," the N.Y. Times' Peter Baker and Ken Vogel write at the top of column 1:

  • "At the heart of the clash is an issue that has challenged multiple presidents: ... how to handle the demands of investigators without surrendering the institutional prerogatives of the office of the presidency."
  • "Trump's aides said they were scrambling to respond to [Mueller] requests to avoid a subpoena that might make it look as if the White House was not cooperating."
  • "The debate ... has pitted Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, against Ty Cobb, a lawyer brought in to manage the response to the investigation."
  • "Cobb was overheard by [Vogel] discussing the dispute during a lunchtime conversation with John Dowd, ... [Trump's] his personal lawyer ... at ... BLT Steak, not far from the White House and a few doors down from The Times's office."
  • "Cobb was heard talking about a White House lawyer he deemed 'a McGahn spy' and saying Mr. McGahn had 'a couple documents locked in a safe' that he seemed to suggest he wanted access to. He also mentioned a colleague whom he blamed for 'some of these earlier leaks,' and who he said 'tried to push Jared out.'"
  • More quotes from Ken's lunch.

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Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.

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