President Donald Trump is actively discussing major changes in the White House, including having lawyers vet his tweets and shaking up his top staff, as he grapples with the fallout from probes into his campaign’s dealings with Russia, according to several senior administration officials and outside advisers.
Other revisions on the table include adding a roster of outside lawyers to help deal with the legal ramifications of the Russia investigation, officials and allies said. “Everything is in play,” one Trump adviser said.
Meetings devoted to White House operations are scheduled for next week, after the president returns from his overseas trip, officials said. The anticipated moves are the latest sign of how the probe into Russia’s interference in last year’s election, and the circumstances of the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, is defining the new administration.
“We have nothing to announce,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Friday.
Mr. Trump has previously queried advisers about major changes, only to stick by his current staff and leave in place internal processes. But as he prepares to return from the nine-day foreign trip this weekend, the situation at home is threatening to consume his administration, his allies said. Before he left, the Justice Department appointed former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the probe, which is focused on whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election and may also include looking into the firing of Mr. Comey earlier this month.
“He’s 100% focused on this,” said a White House official, noting that the president slept only two hours in Saudi Arabia the night before his widely anticipated speech on Islam that he spent little time rehearsing.
Mr. Trump has denied any collusion between his campaign and Russia and has said he fired Mr. Comey because he was doing a bad job. He also said he had been a “showboat.”
One major change under consideration would see the president’s social media posts vetted by a team of lawyers, who would decide if any needed to be adjusted or curtailed. The idea, said one of Mr. Trump’s advisers, is to create a system so that tweets “don’t go from the president’s mind out to the universe.”
Some of Mr. Trump’s tweets—from hinting that he may have taped conversations with Mr. Comey to suggesting without any evidence that former President Barack Obama wire-tapped Trump Tower—have opened him to criticism and at times confounded his communications team.