a step the White House insists is not on the table

dhchong

Senior Member
Korean
Hi!

This is from CNN News article. Trump takes aim at top FBI officials on Twitter - CNNPolitics


The criticism of McCabe comes as a growing number of Republicans are questioning the credibility of Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Trump's team and Russian officials.
Several Republicans, including Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, have called for McCabe's removal.
But Democrats argue that the Republican criticisms of McCabe and the FBI are an effort to undermine Mueller as his investigation ramps up, and to give Trump cover should he try to remove Mueller,a step the White House insists is not on the table.

I'm trying to understand meaning of the phrase "a step the White House insists is not on the table" and grammatical function of the phrase. My understanding of "to give Trump cover should he try to remove Mueller" is "to give Trump cover if he should try to remove Mueller". Then what does "a step" refernce?
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    a step = a move; a strategy; part of a plan. (Here it refers to "removing Mueller".)
    On the table = available
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    It is a reference back to removing Mueller. The writer says that Democrats argue that criticisms of McCabe and the FBI are an effort to give Trump cover if Trip should decide to remove Mueller, even though the White House says that the removal of Mueller is not something that Trump plans to do.

    [cross-posted.]
     
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