This is hilarious coming from old Lanny, who’s one of the Chicago outfit’s biggest apologists.
...and that's what he's doing here. He's trying to play down the seriousness of the threats. "Oh, they said that to me too, and I just told them it wasn't appropriate and they stopped". Meanwhile, Plouff is running around calling Woodward senile. As usual, instead of getting on the same page, the White House is getting on all of them at the same time, hoping somebody will find one of them persuasive.