Vice President Mike Pence hires outside counsel in Russia probe

As Maddow pointed out, Pence has uttered complete lies with respect to his knowledge of Michael Flynn's ties to Russian Federation and about the reasons behind the firing of James Comey, which the vice president had said had absolutely nothing to do with the Russian Federation investigation.

Earlier, US media reported that Donald Trump was being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller for possible obstruction of justice.

Former Virginia attorney general and chairman of McGuireWoods, Richard Cullen, will represent Pence.

MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski got into an argument with co-host Joe Scarborough on Friday over Vice President Mike Pence's decision to hire a lawyer for the Russian Federation investigation, saying, "We shouldn't pretend this is normal". Pence's communications director Jarrod Agen said in a statement.

Cullen is no stranger to high-profile federal investigations.

Moscow has denied USA intelligence agencies' conclusion that it interfered in last year's election campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump's favour. He also represented Rep. Tom Delay, a Republican from Texas and former House of Representatives leader over the investigation into corrupt Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

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Cullen referred questions to Pence's office.

NBC News has confirmed that Trump is facing a criminal investigation for possible obstruction of justice in the FBI investigation.

"It's very routine", Pence said.

The decision to hire Cullen has been in the works for weeks, aides to the vice president said.

Cullen - who has experience litigating the Iran-Contra investigation, Watergate and the 2000 vote recount in Florida - is a former USA attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Trump spent a good portion of the day tweeting in anger about that and other related issues. Opposition has been fanned by Maduro's plan for July 30 elections for a special assembly to rewrite the constitution, which critics say are stacked in his favour.The Maduro government calls the protesters violent coup-mongers, supported by the United States. They said they have made gains thanks to assistance from the USA, which dramatically increased support for the three countries following a sharp increase in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the US border in 2014.

Going forward, other White House officials will likely follow Pence's lead in hiring their own private attorneys as a protective measure against subpoenas, even though Kasowitz has stressed that such a move is not necessary.

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