President Trump is “beefing up the White House staff” in preparation to fight the Russia collusion claims, says Fox News Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry.
The White House plans to launch a serious counter-offensive as soon as the president returns from his overseas trip, with White House strategist Steve Bannon to oversee a team of experienced political professionals.
The team’s mission is to “respond, rebut, and refute bad press and legal issues emanating from the special counsel probe led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller into Russian influence on the 2016 election,” reports Fox News.
Some see the opportunity as a shot at redemption for Bannon, who has been on thin ice recently.
Aside from Bannon, the only other confirmed member so far is Trump’s long-time attorney Marc Kasowtiz, who was brought on as outside counsel to lead the defense against the Russia investigation.
Other people being considered for the “war room” include:
Theodore Olson, an attorney and former Solicitor General who worked with James Comey and Robert Mueller. He was with Comey in 2004 when Attorney General John Ashcroft was hospitalized.
Robert Giuffra, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell who is currently fending off lawsuits arising from the automaker’s admission that it cheated on diesel emissions tests.
Reid Weingarten, a self-described “hardcore child of the 60’s,” who represented Goldman Sachs and Goldman Sachs banker Jon Corzine after the credit crisis.
A source close to the process says the legal team isn’t about replacing current staff (like Sean Spicer), but about adding “experienced veterans from the campaign trail who recognize the gravity of the situation.”
The war room is a strategic move as Republicans continue to worry that the Russia probe is consuming Trump’s presidency and threatening to derail his efforts to reform healthcare, rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, and cut taxes.
“The president has had an incredibly successful trip overseas and the White House looks forward to continuing an aggressive messaging strategy to highlight his agenda when we return to DC,” said White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders. President Trump will return from his trip on Saturday.
Author’s Note: Trump has been attacked from all sides about possible connections with Russia. This is his response, and Bannon is a good choice.