Former Trump campaign aide seeks legal help — from Trump

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(CNN) — A former Trump campaign aide is requesting that President Donald Trump set up a legal fund to help associates ensnared in the federal probe into Trump campaign contacts with Russia.

The ex-staff member, who told CNN he is racking up legal fees after hiring an attorney in order to respond to questions from federal investigators, also said he was never paid for his work for the campaign. He requested anonymity to speak candidly.

“In many ways, the Trump associates are the real victims here,” the ex-staffer said.

“The world (is) going after them and Trump (is) leaving them abandoned on the battlefield,” he added. “Yet many lives will be ruined in the process.”

The White House declined to comment on whether administration officials have issued legal guidance to White House employees.

“We are not going to comment on matters pertaining to the investigation,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.

Other former campaign officials said it was difficult to estimate how many staff members have been in contact with federal investigators.

“My heart aches,” one former campaign official said of ex-staffers who might be caught up in the Russia investigation.

Ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and fired national security adviser Michael Flynn, are among the former campaign officials said to be of interest to federal investigators. But the former campaign aide who spoke with CNN about his own legal woes said there are others who may not have the financial means to withstand a lengthy probe.

In addition to mounting legal fees, the former campaign staff member also expressed concern about how his job prospects may be affected by the Russia investigation.

“At a minimum, political careers dead and damaged ability to work in DC,” the ex-staffer said, insisting that there is still no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government to throw the 2016 election to Trump.

“There is still no stitch of evidence for collaboration or collusion,” the former staffer said.

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