Trump's circle looking for an outside legal team to boost 'firepower' in Russia probe

Story highlights

  • Legal advisers gathered Thursday to guide President Donald Trump on Russia
  • The President is seething over the appointment of a special counsel on the issue

(CNN)President Donald Trump's close circle of advisers met Thursday in Washington to discuss the hiring of a personal team of attorneys to represent him through the special counsel's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Michael Cohen, the President's longtime personal lawyer, was summoned to the West Wing for meetings. Other advisers joined the discussion, with a goal of presenting the President with a plan for outside legal counsel as the Russia investigation enters a new and potentially perilous phase for the White House.
"He will need an outside team for this," a Republican close to the White House said. "Everyone here knows he needs more firepower on this."
These meetings come as the President is seething over the Justice Department's decision to appoint a special counsel. He felt "blindsided by this," another Republican close to the White House said.
The President made his displeasure known in a Thursday morning tweet, calling the Russia investigation a "witch hunt." He also told network anchors at the White House on Thursday that appointing a special counsel "hurts the country."
The White House Counsel's office represents the presidency, but aides are making the case to Trump that he needs an outside legal team for this probe.