What lawyers think of Trump’s crisis response

As the president’s communications team tries to put out fires, their messaging goals and legal duties don’t always align. Here’s how PR pros can work with legal defense efforts.

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It can’t be fun to be a lawyer for the president these days.

One can only imagine the terrified sounds emitted by President Donald Trump’s attorneys when two White House PR spokespeople recently appeared to harpoon counsel’s strategies by blurting out admissions that were at odds with Trump’s legal interests.

First, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded during a press conference to questions about the civil suit that porn star Stormy Daniels (aka Stephanie Clifford) filed against Trump by exulting, “arbitration was won in the president’s favor.” It was a stunning admission which Newsweek said, “effectively conceded for the first time that Trump had any involvement with Clifford.” Trump Administration sources admitting to CNN confidentially that “Sarah gave the Stormy Daniels storyline steroids yesterday.”

Then, less than a week later, deputy White House PR spokesperson Raj Shah said of allegations that the president’s staff and other intimates had colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election: “The president, who would be aware of any types of efforts, has been pretty clear, understands and knows that there is no collusion.”

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