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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Members of President Trump's outside legal team believed Jared Kushner should step down, due to the scrutiny he was under from the Russia probe, and went so far as to draft a statement explaining his departure, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Members of the legal team took that advice to Trump in June, per the Journal, including in a White House meeting. Trump wasn't convinced, with one source saying the president thought his son-in-law had done nothing wrong.

Worth noting: The composition of the legal team has changed over the intervening months. John Dowd, who now leads the team, confirmed some lawyers wanted Kushner out but told the Journal he was always opposed to the idea.

One more nugget: Per WSJ, Trump's lawyers were anticipating news of the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer — and Kushner's presence at it — would emerge (it did on July 8) and "had developed talking points to manage the political fallout, including a statement that would explain a potential Kushner resignation."

That statement, which wasn't used, "expressed regret that the political environment had become so toxic that what he viewed as a standard meeting was becoming a weapon for Mr. Trump's critics."

Marc Kasowitz, who led Trump's legal team until mid-July, denied recommending Kushner's ouster to Trump or any other of the president's lawyers, or being aware of any colleagues having done so in a statement to the Journal.

Flashback: Axios reported in July that Trump's legal team, led by Kasowitz, wanted to wall off Kushner from discussing the Russia probe with Trump because he was so caught up in the investigation. It was widely known that poisonous relations had developed between Trump's outside legal team and Kushner's lawyers.

Go deeper

1 min ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."