President Trump’s White House has decided against setting up a war room to respond to the flood of revelations related to the FBI and congressional Russia investigations, Politico reported, citing four advisers close to Trump.
Trump has decided that media inquiries would best be handled by his outside lawyer in New York instead of a team inside the White House, the magazine reported late Tuesday.
Questions about the probe are being referred to his long-time attorney Marc Kasowitz. Kasowitz has so far had no comment on the investigations, leaving those questions unanswered.
Three people briefed on the matter told The Associated Press that the process has been bogged down by a lack of decision-making in the West Wing over how to proceed, as well as reluctance from some of those the White House hoped to recruit about serving a president who keeps getting in his own way.
"Anybody with press chops looks at this and they're fearful there's not a path to succeed," said Sara Fagen, former White House political director for George W. Bush.
The Politico report said senior aides and the president were not able to agree on how the war room would operate.
A trio of top White House officials -- chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner -- had been making plans to create an in-house effort to respond to the flood of revelations related to the FBI and congressional investigations.
Just last week, two former campaign officials -- including Corey Lewandowski -- were reportedly searching for office space around the White House for the team. But Trump determined that they would be better on the outside than inside to argue against the Russian narrative.
The report said Kushner objected to outsourcing the inquiries.
The reported decision comes just days before former White House Director James Comey is set to testify on Capitol Hill.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that, “This White House will continue to be on offense and on defense.”
“In terms of a strategy to combat all the negative, the speculation, and what the Washington Post or someone this weekend referred to as a nothing burger, maybe it’s an outside group ... or inside.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.