Russia: President's legal team shake-up falters

Attorney John Dowd quit Trump's legal team on Thursday, days after what appeared to bethe hiring of Joseph DiGenova, a cable news commentator and former USA attorney who has claimed that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 United States election is an attempt to frame the president, carried out by the FBI and the Department of Justice.

Trump moved to beef up his legal team days before Dowd resigned when it was announced that former USA attorney Joseph diGenova was coming aboard. He said the conflicts would not prevent them from assisting Trump "on other legal matters". "The President looks forward to working with them", Sekulow said in a statement to CNN's Evan Perez.

It was just four days ago that the president's top attorney, John Dowd - the man who was negotiating a potential interview with Mueller - quit. Trump says he wants to do the interview, but no agreement on his questioning has been reached.

"I am very happy with my existing team", he added.

U.S. President Donald Trump waves to well wishers as he arrive in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., March 23, 2018.

The possibility of diGenova's hire attracted widespread attention to the legal figure's brash comments about the Russian Federation investigation, including the assertion that Trump had been "framed" by FBI and Justice Department officials.

Two people told The Times that Trump ultimately didn't hire diGenova and Toensing because they didn't have chemistry with him.

DiGenova and his wife and law partner, Victoria Toensing, met with Trump last week, the sources said. "Besides, there was NO COLLUSION with Russian Federation, except by Crooked Hillary and the Dems", Trump continued.

But Mr Trump's personal lawyer said "conflicts" had prevented their hiring.

Sekulow announced last week that veteran Washington attorney Joseph diGenova, a former United States attorney for the District of Columbia, had been hired onto Trump's legal team, but as of Friday, his role was still in question. according to two sources familiar with the matter.

On Sunday morning, Trump also continued to defend the $1.3 trillion budget, which specifies border funding is permitted only for "operationally effective designs deployed" as of May 5, 2017.

The president is also reportedly weighing whether to fire Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer who has advocated for a cooperative approach toward Mueller.

Trump said with $700 billion in funding for defense, "many jobs are created and our Military is again rich. Building a great Border Wall, with drugs (poison) and enemy combatants pouring into our Country, is all about National Defense".

  • Joey Payne