H.R. McMaster at the White House on Tuesday.
Spicer made his debut at the podium January 21 by reading a five-minute statement about the size of Trump's inauguration crowd a day earlier. Earlier at a White House briefing, his National Security Adviser H R McMaster defended Trump saying, "Conversation with Russian foreign minister was wholly appropriate with our national security".
The White House counsel's office was alerted only after the order appointing Mueller was signed. Maybe that approach works in reality television or in the hotel business, but it's not what most Americans expect of their president. Trump insists he had an absolute right to share information in an openly scheduled White House meeting concerning flight safety and terrorism.
Trump's tweets undercut his administration's frantic effort Monday night to contain the damaging report.
In February, Trump fired his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn after it was revealed that he had lied about the nature and extent of his ties to Russian diplomats. Democrats and some Republicans greeted those denials skeptically.
Donald Trump began the 2016 campaign with few Republican allies, and by the end, he had consolidated support from the vast majority of his party.
The conflicted information has made it harder for aides to effectively advocate for the president.
"First, the Russians will undoubtedly try to figure out the source or the method of this information to make sure that it is not also collecting on their activities in Syria - and in trying to do that they could well disrupt the source", Morell said. She also referred to a "Bowling Green Massacre" that never occurred.
"If this produces that problem-and that's the extreme worry here-then the president is much less effective, the US government is much less effective, than it otherwise would be", he added.
White House officials originally regarded the worldwide swing as a reset for a beleaguered President and his staff.
The White House has been two-stepping with the truth.
Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill criticized the president for compromising US national security. They note that the administration has yet to face a national or global crisis comparable to the September 11, 2001, attacks, Hurricane Katrina or the Sandy Hook school shootings.
Republican Jason Chaffetz of Utah, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Mueller was a "great selection". Marco Rubio, a Trump rival.
But for all of the finger-pointing and blame-placing inside the White House, the common factor in all of the controversies is the man in the Oval Office. But distractions were rampant, none as large as Trump's abrupt dismissal of Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.
He said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy, remember the meeting the same way. The administration told the media that Comey was let go after seeking the recommendation of top Justice Department officials, but Trump eventually told NBC News' Lester Holt that he planned to fire Comey all along.
Even so, Sofrin described the conversation between Trump and the Russians as a small event, and said it would not imperil the relationship between the Israeli and American intelligence communities.
The Post, citing current and former U.S. officials, said Trump shared details about an Islamic State terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.
Typically, that has been interpreted to mean that the president has the ultimate authority to classify and to declassify information. But the revelation "will make countries think twice" before they share classified intelligence with the United States in the future, Deitz said.
"At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly", he said at the time.
The White House said Trump wasn't briefed on the source of the intelligence and didn't know where it came from when he passed it along to the Russians.
Soon after the report was published, the administration contended that it was false and that Trump did not reveal sources of intelligence, methods of gathering intelligence or military operations.