President Trump begins paying legal fees out of his own pocket, lawyer says

President Donald Trump has begun paying his personal legal bills stemming from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign out of his own pocket, relieving the Republican Party of future payments, the White House's special counsel on the matter announced Friday.

Trump, who claims a multibillion-dollar net worth, is also working with the Office of Government Ethics and tax law experts to fund the legal payments of White House staffers who have become embroiled in the Justice Department's special counsel investigation.

"(The) President is paying his own legal fees, as was always his preference. He does not want to deplete any funds that may be available to assist current and former staffers," Ty Cobb, the White House's special counsel on the Russia matter, said in a statement.

"The Administration and others are working with the Office of Government Ethics and tax specialists to create a lawful mechanism for payment of fees for staffers," Cobb added. "It is expected to be operational shortly."

Bloomberg first reported on the change.

The Republican National Committee had previously paid for Trump's legal bills, paying out more than $230,000 from a legal expense fund to the firms of two of Trump's personal attorneys, John Dowd and Jay Sekulow. It is unclear who funded payments to Marc Kasowitz, the first lawyer Trump hired to oversee the response to the growing probe into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 campaign.

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