Pence calls hiring of outside counsel for Russia probe 'very routine'

PHOTO: Vice President-elect Mike Pence participates in a cabinet meeting in the governors Statehouse office in Indianapolis, Nov. 14, 2016. PlayMIchael Conroy/AP Photo
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Vice President Mike Pence said his hiring of a private attorney to deal with the Russia probe is "very routine."

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Asked by the media Friday about the news of his hiring of his own counsel for matters related to the investigation, Pence replied: "It's very routine. Very routine."

Pence has retained the services of attorney Richard Cullen to represent him in legal matters related to the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The Washington Post was first to report the news.

A spokesman for Pence confirmed Cullen's hiring in an emailed statement, adding that the lawyer will assist Pence "in responding to inquiries by the special counsel."

"The vice president is focused entirely on his duties and promoting the president’s agenda and looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter," concluded the statement by Pence spokesman Jarrod Agen.

Cullen is no stranger to high-profile federal investigations: He served as special counsel to former Sen. Paul Trible, R-Va., during the Iran-Contra investigation; worked for former Rep. Caldwell Butler, R-Va., during the Watergate investigation; was lead counsel to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay during the investigation into his ties with lobbyist Jack Abramoff; and was on President George W. Bush’s legal team during the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election.

Cullen also served as the state attorney general of Virginia and as a U.S. attorney under President George H. W. Bush. He is currently the chairman and a senior litigation partner at the law firm McGuireWoods LLP in Richmond, Virginia. In May, President Donald Trump hired lawyer Marc Kasowitz -- who last year represented the Trump campaign and has previously represented Trump personally -- to serve as the president's attorney for investigation-related issues.

In May, President Donald Trump hired lawyer Marc Kasowitz -- who last year represented the Trump campaign and has previously represented Trump personally -- to serve as the president's attorney for investigation-related issues.

ABC News' Katherine Faulders contributed to this report.