Speed Reads

bringing in backup

Trump's associates were advising him to hire an outside lawyer even before a special prosecutor was named

President Trump's advisers and personal associates have been pushing for him to hire an outside lawyer to handle the escalating investigation into his ties with Russia, The New York Times reported Thursday. The urgings apparently preceded the Justice Department's announcement Wednesday evening that it had appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Russia's election interference and the Trump campaign's potential ties to it.

The move wouldn't be entirely unprecedented: The New York Times reported that past presidents have hired an outside lawyer in addition to the White House counsel when "their private actions were called into question." Trump has not yet made a decision, though he's apparently indicated he's open to hiring an outside lawyer.

The New York Times said that Trump's allies are "especially concerned" about the recent bombshell report that former FBI Director James Comey apparently kept memos detailing his conversations with Trump. In one such memo, Comey reportedly noted that Trump had urged him to drop the FBI investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.