White House considering vetting Trump’s tweets: report
The White House is reportedly mulling wholesale operational changes, including vetting President Trump’s tweets, as it seeks to sharpen its response to the investigation into whether officials inappropriately engaged with Russia during the campaign.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the administration is considering having a legal team vet Trump’s social media posts to avoid unnecessary political and legal troubles now that a special counsel has taken over the Russia investigation.
Some of the most lasting political damage Trump has incurred in his first months in office has stemmed from his tweets. Trump threatened former FBI director James Comey over Twitter, suggesting he may have secretly recorded conversations with the fired official, and he has accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower, without evidence.
The administration is also looking at adding to its roster of outside legal counsel for the Russia matter, which is led by longtime Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz, and is considering bolstering the in-house legal team led by White House counsel Don McGahn, the Journal reported.
The report comes as speculation runs rampant that the White House has major changes in store when Trump returns to Washington this weekend from his first trip abroad.
Reuters reported on Friday that chief strategist Stephen Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus are setting up a “war room” for rapid response to breaking news about the Russia investigation.
There are rumors among Trump’s allies that the president could be looking at bringing former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former deputy campaign manager David Bossie back into the fold. Those two and others could operate outside the White House as the administration looks to widen its net of surrogates.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Lewandowski, Bossie and veteran GOP operative David Urban are being considered for as-of-yet unannounced positions.
The paper also reported that a senior staff shake-up could be in the works.
Communications director Mike Dubke is said to be on the chopping block, as is press secretary Sean Spicer, who could be replaced by deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders, according to the report.
Those rumors and others about a shake-up have circulated for some time but none have materialized.
The Journal also reported that the administration could look to cut back press briefings.
The White House appeared to be playing around with that idea and others before Trump left town earlier this month.
Taking over for Spicer, national security adviser H.R. McMaster became the administration’s public face in dealing with a controversy over whether Trump had revealed classified information in a meeting with Russian diplomats.
Sanders also filled in at length for Spicer, who has been catching up with military reserve duty. When Spicer returned last week, he conducted several briefings, or gaggles, with reporters off-camera.