Mr. Trump has signaled he is likely to hire a new lawyer, but has not yet made a decision, according to three people who have spoken with him. Aides to Mr. Trump did not immediately comment on his discussions.
Mr. Trump is said to recognize that he needs help beyond the White House counsel. But he is deeply cautious in selecting people he trusts, and he adds new people to his orbit slowly.
Other presidents have hired personal lawyers suited to an investigation by a special counsel or special prosecutor in the past. For instance, Bill and Hillary Clinton hired David E. Kendall during the summer of 1993 as they were grappling with a Justice Department effort to subpoena business records related to their Whitewater real estate holdings.
Mr. Trump has a personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and a tax lawyer who worked on his business issues before he went into the White House, Sheri Dillon. Daniel Petrocelli, an alumnus of the O.J. Simpson civil trial, was the lawyer to whom Mr. Trump turned when he was dealing with a class-action fraud case against the defunct Trump University.
In conversations with allies inside and outside the White House, Mr. Trump, who rarely assumes blame for the crises he creates, has criticized his staff as serving him poorly. He has spared no one, including the White House counsel, according to two people who have had direct discussions with him.
Yet Mr. Trump’s senior aides recognize that they may have to be restrained in making significant changes after his coming foreign trip, as they had hoped the president would do. Two senior administration officials bluntly predicted that firing anyone would be difficult now.
Many staff members describe an atmosphere of diminished morale in the White House, but they also insist that the news media frenzy surrounding daily disclosures about Mr….