A veteran Washington, D.C., lawyer who reportedly turned down an offer to join Donald Trump’s legal team has criticized the “turmoil” and “chaos” in the White House. He also indicated that attorneys aren’t as eager to work for Trump as the president has claimed.
Ted Olson, who served as solicitor general in President George W. Bush’s administration, rejected an offer to join Trump’s legal team and represent the president in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference, CNN and The Washington Post reported last Tuesday.
Asked Sunday on MSNBC about ongoing Cabinet shakeups and “government by Twitter” in the Trump administration, Olson criticized the White House for turmoil “beyond normal.”
“I think everybody would agree this is turmoil, it’s chaos, it’s confusion, it’s not good for anything,” Olson told Andrea Mitchell. “We always believe that there should be an orderly process, and of course, government is not clean or orderly ever. But this seems to be beyond normal.”
Olson characterized his job offer to Mother Jones as a “trial balloon” shot down. Asked if any attorneys have reached out to him for a referral to the White House, Olson responded: “Not at all.”
That seems to contradict Trump’s declaration that “many lawyers and law firms want to represent me” for “fame and fortune.” He urged Twitter followers not to believe “fake news” saying otherwise. Trump said he ultimately decided not to bring in new lawyers because it would take them a long time to “get up to speed.” Besides, he said, he was “happy” with his team.
Prior to those tweets, the White House had asked Olson, as well as lawyers Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, to join Trump’s legal team.
Trump’s lead attorney assigned to the Mueller probe, John Dowd, resigned last Thursday, reportedly because Trump wasn’t planning to heed his advice in the Mueller probe, The New York Times reported. DiGenova and Toensing didn’t take the jobs because of conflicts of interest with other clients, according to a White House statement.