White House special counsel Ty Cobb asked Business Insider’s Natasha Bertrand if she was on drugs during an email thread late on Saturday.
Bertrand was speaking with Cobb after he took issue with an analysis piece she wrote Saturday about a letter that President Donald Trump reportedly drafted to fire former FBI director James Comey. White House counsel Don McGahn advised against sending the letter, and Bertrand says it may now be used as evidence in the obstruction of justice case special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly building against Trump.
Cobb insisted that the president had wide support within the White House for choosing to fire Comey, but refused to answer why the letter was never sent directly to the former FBI director.
After receiving follow up questions to his statement, Cobb asked Bertrand, “Are you on drugs?”
Bertrand posted the exchange to Twitter on Sunday morning.
Cobb’s abrupt and unprofessional response came as a shock to the reporter.
“Cobb supposedly has a great reputation and is a very respected lawyer,” Bertrand told HuffPost. “He was brought in to bring some discipline to the whole operation. So I wasn’t expecting that response to what I thought was a pretty basic question.”
Bertrand then responded to Cobb, assuring him that she was not on drugs and that he hadn’t been forthcoming in his emails.
“No I’m not on drugs. But you’re not giving me much to work with. I’ve asked several times for an explanation of what in the story (which is an analysis piece, in any case) is false.”
Cobb has not responded to the reporter’s email message and the White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Bertrand wrote about the exchange in more detail Sunday morning, which can be read here.