Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted: "Many lawyers and top law firms want to represent me in the Russia case...don’t believe the Fake News narrative that it is hard to find a lawyer who wants to take this on. Fame & fortune will NEVER be turned down by a lawyer, though some are conflicted."

Reality check: Trump's legal team is down to two core lawyers, including his personal lawyer Jay Sekulow, who works from outside of the White House with a team of helpers, and Ty Cobb, who works from inside the White House and represents the institution as well as the president. Top Washington lawyers, including Ted Olson and Emmet Flood, have reportedly declined to join Trump's legal team.

Why Trump struggles to find top legal talent:

  • He has a reputation within the legal community for being tightfisted and reluctant to pay bills. 
  • He's impetuous. He tweets prolifically and loosely, often ignoring his lawyers' advice. 
  • Top white shoe law firms in Washington don't need the publicity nearly so much as Trump claims. Contrary to Trump's tweet, many are quite happy to turn down the "fame" associated with representing him. Representing Trump can easily bring the wrong type of publicity.
  • Some of these firms have conflicts of interest — meaning they have clients whose interests may not align with Trump's. That's the stated reason, for example, why Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing ultimately didn't join the president’s special counsel legal team. Toensing has been representing Mark Corallo, who represented Trump’s legal team in 2017 before leaving acrimoniously.

Go deeper

28 mins ago - Podcasts

Rural America has its own coronavirus problem

It's often easier to socially distance in rural America, but it can simultaneously be more challenging to get medical care.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the pandemic's urban-rural divide with microbiologist Amber Schmidtke, who has found that coronavirus-related morbidity is higher in many of Georgia's rural counties than in Atlanta.

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 12,373,722 — Total deaths: 556,863 — Total recoveries — 6,794,982Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 3,156,234 — Total deaths: 133,746 — Total recoveries: 969,111 — Total tested: 38,032,966Map.
  3. Public health: The U.S.'s new default strategy: herd immunity — 23 states and D.C. are mandating face coverings.
  4. ✈️ Travel: Delta CEO says Trump administration should issue mask mandate for air travelAirlines say air quality, cleanliness lower risk.

Biden and Trump point fingers over "buy American" proposals

Joe Biden at a campaign event in Wilmington, DE. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump and Joe Biden are going back and forth over the former vice president's "buy American" economic proposal, which Trump claims Biden "plagiarized" from him.

Why it matters: Biden is directly challenging Trump and his "America First" agenda with the release of his latest plan, focused on economic recovery and re-investing in American manufacturing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.