Trump searches for lawyers as media prizefight over Mueller-led probe gathers steam

There’s a new prizefight in US news media - scooping the Trump-Mueller-Russia story, the only one that's been able to peel the teflon off the US President's persona.

America’s leading newspapers and television networks are unloading like never before on the coming Trump-Mueller battle while the US President is said to be close to finalising a crack team of lawyers for the rocky weeks and months of revelations up ahead.

Soon after Trump unceremoniously kicked out FBI chief James Comey, former FBI director Robert Mueller has been brought in as special counsel to lead the Department of Justice's investigation into Russia's election-year meddling and links with the Trump campaign, setting off alarm bells in the Trump camp.

If Trump’s doubters are to be relied upon, the US President is in real fear of where all the FBI probe may lead, other than just Russia.

 Trump searches for lawyers as media prizefight over Mueller-led probe gathers steam

Trump may not have bargained that the Comey sacking would be such a big deal/ Reuters

White House insiders are dusting out their resumes, bracing for more collateral damage as the Mueller probe picks up pace.

“I have worked in a White House that’s under investigation. It is even more disorienting than it appears. No one in a position of authority at the White House tells you what is happening. No one knows. Your closest colleague could be under investigation and you would not know. You could be under investigation and not know”, says Jennifer Palmieri, director of communications for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and in the Obama White House,.

In less than a week, the US media coverage of Trump has changed in a defining way after the James Comey firing and the Robert Mueller appointment - they’re assessing Trump not as “business as usual” or the daily comic strip but as “crisis” and “threat to national security”.

Buoyed by the general mood against the chaos in the current White House, political analysts on prime time television are saying it’s a mistake to frame the Trump-Russia links in the "narrow category of collusion" because it is "far more dangerous" than a one-on-one plan that was hatched to win an election.

“The Russians could have done what they did even without that (Trump’s alleged collusion). This investigation is already looking at financial crimes, so it can go wherever the facts lead. But the fact that Trump is acting in such a wild and almost illegal way means that there is something he very much does not want people to know about - which he wants to hide very badly” former President Ronald Raegan’s son Ron Reagan said on MSNBC.

Soon after the Comey firing, the NYT and Washington Post broke big stories on how Trump asked Comey to let it ( the investigation) go, paving the way for the entire media establishment to find every leaky vessel in the current administration.

CNN scooped the latest one - that Mueller has been briefed on some of the memos where former FBI Director James Comey noted down his conversations with President Donald Trump.

As President Trump continues to wade into scandal territory even on his Israel excursion, the Washington Post’s latest on the story is this, citing current and former officials: Trump urged ( read pressurised) two senior intelligence officials this March to publicly deny there was any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Breaking news can come and go but Washington Post, New York Times, CNN and MSNBC are not letting up in their pushback against the Trump administration; they too are teaming up, often calling each other “our colleagues” on air in a new show of strength as one unified armoury born from months of humiliation at the hands of the new White House minders.

“Why is the President sticking his nose so deep into this?”, “We never mentioned Israel was the source of classified information, so why is President Trump clarifying that he did not mention Israel in his chat with the Russians” are the kind of questions not one but every liberal news channel is playing on prime time in the most co-ordinated series of media attacks on Trump in the last one year.

“Sources close to the investigation” are a key ingredient in the secret sauce as news networks throw their best resources into the Trump-Russia story.

Add to that Comey’s father who says his son got fired because President Donald Trump was "scared to death of him.”

“Jim ( James Comey) didn't give him 100% loyalty, and he demands that of people who work with him. (Jim) said he would give 100% honesty, but not loyalty. Jim’s a straightforward and honest guy while Trump runs around lying most of the day,” James Comey’s father told CNN.

With Trump gone from Washington D.C., it's slowly sinking in: Trump did not bargain that sacking Comey would be such a big deal!

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Updated Date: May 24, 2017 00:45:41 IST