Trump lawyer: Ex-White House staffers trying to sabotage Kushner

Former Trump administration officials are attempting to tarnish the reputation of Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and a top White House aide, according to White House lawyer Ty Cobb.

Cobb told The Washington Post that he believes senior White House aides leaked internal discussions about whether Kushner should be forced from the White House to hurt Trump's son-in-law.

But he suggested Kushner's enemies are no longer within the White House.

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"Those whose agendas were and remain focused on sabotaging him and his family for misguided personal reasons are no longer around," said Cobb, who was brought aboard in July to specialize in the Russia investigations. "All clandestine efforts to undermine him never gained traction."

Cobb wouldn't say which former aides were behind the smear campaign, but the most likely culprit is ousted chief strategist Stephen Bannon, a bitter rival of Kushner's during his time in the White House. In April, "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough said that Bannon was trashing Kushner to members of the media.

“Reporters were the first to start telling me three weeks ago that Bannon was starting to regularly trash Jared to anyone who would listen,” Scarborough said in April.

In an interview with "60 Minutes" that aired on Sunday, Bannon also said Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey was the biggest mistake "in modern political history." Kushner is seen as having played a role in that decision. 

The discussion about whether Kushner should leave the White House took place within Trump's legal team.

Some on the team felt he should leave because his broad business portfolio, and his conversations during the campaign with some Russian interests, could hinder his ability to do his job given multiple investigations into Russia's efforts to influence last year's presidential election.

The Wall Street Journal report Monday that members of Trump's legal team told the president that Kushner should be pressured to leave the White House after reports emerged that he was present for a 2016 meeting with a Russian attorney who claimed to have damaging information on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore Papadopoulos was in regular contact with Stephen Miller, helped edit Trump speech: report Bannon jokes Clinton got her ‘ass kicked’ in 2016 election MORE.

According to the report, press aides to Trump’s legal team allegedly even went so far as to draft a statement explaining why Kushner was leaving the White House. That statement specifically mentioned the summer meeting between Kushner and the attorney.

Another lawyer on the Trump team, John Dowd, told the Journal that he vehemently disagreed that Kushner should be forced out of the White House. 

“I didn’t agree with that view at all. I thought it was absurd,” Dowd told The Journal. “I made my views known.”

Cobb also dismissed the idea that Kushner would be ousted from the White House, telling the Post on Tuesday that Kushner was "among the President's most trusted, competent, selfless and intelligent advisers."