This appears in the very first line of Eric Lutz’s piece in Vanity Fair on Paul Ryan’s interview with Politico’s Tim Alberta. It is a congruent conflation of “run interference” and “provide cover” (take an action to avoid problems, on behalf of another individual). “Run for cover” might also have been in the writer’s mind, located in the “freudian slip” area. A big thanks to Frank King who spotted this one!
Rachel Maddow uttered this one the other night. Referring to Ty Cobb, Trump’s lawyer who resigned, said, “His job was running point for the White House on the Trump Russia investigation.” This is a mashup of the military expression “walk (or take) point” (to assume the first and most exposed position in a combat military formation) and “running interference” (to take actions to avoid or prevent certain problems). As the submitter said, if you ran point, you’d out distance yourself from the other troops, which is a bad idea. A big thanks to Frank King who heard this one and passed it on!