Trump slams leaks as fake news following Kushner reports

Elias Hubbard
May 29, 2017

After maintaining a limited social media presence throughout his trip, Trump unleashed a furious flurry of tweets today, lashing out at what he called the "fake news" media.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, while not confirming the Kushner report, told Fox News on Sunday, "I think that any channel of communication back or otherwise, with a country like Russian Federation is a good thing".

In a statement given to the New York Times, Mr Trump praised the "great job" Mr Kushner is doing.

- According to several aides and outside allies of President Donald Trump, his top priority upon his return from his first foreign trip will be a possible retooling of his senior staff and the creation of a "war room" inside the White House.

The talks between Kushner and the Russians, if confirmed, raise new questions about the Trump team's relationship with Moscow, which U.S. intelligence agencies say tried to sway the November election in Trump's favor.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on ABC Sunday that Kushner should appear before the committee and that his security clearance needs to be reviewed.

Kelly, asked on ABC about the reported plan to use Russian equipment or facilities, said, "I don't know if all of that is true".

"But for people associated with the campaign after that campaign has ended and where the Russians during that campaign were helping you, to try to establish a back channel and hide it from your own government, that's a serious allegation", he said. The intent was to connect Trump's chief national security adviser at the time, Michael Flynn, with Russian military leaders, a person familiar with the discussions told the AP.

"It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media", Mr Trump wrote in a series of Twitter posts yesterday.

Administration officials close to President Donald Trump have been pushing Kushner to step aside while the FBI investigates meetings that Kushner he had with Russian figures during the transition period following the November election, The Hill reported.

Greg Miller, one of the reporters who broke the story for the Washington Post, spoke with the NewsHour Weekend's Hari Sreenivasan.

Kushner is Trump's Orthodox Jewish son-in-law.

Flynn served briefly as Trump's national security adviser before being fired in February. Flynn was sacked in February, officials saying he misled Vice President Mike Pence about whether he and the ambassador had discussed US sanctions against Russian Federation in a phone call. He was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in January about his contacts with Kislyak. He remains an influential confidant within the White House as does his wife, Ivanka Trump.

The latest reports in the Russian Federation matter said Kushner spoke with Russia's ambassador to the United States about setting up secret communications with Moscow during the presidential transition. Kushner's attorney, Jamie Gorelick, told Reuters that Kushner "has no recollection of the calls as described".

The White House faces mounting questions about potential ties between Russian Federation and Trump's presidential campaign, which are also the subject of criminal and congressional investigations.

"It don't see the big deal", Kelly said on "Fox News Sunday".

Another story that broke while Mr. Trump was gone was one that said three leakers inside the White House had been identified, and that the President would be getting rid of them once he returned to the U.S. No names were revealed, but it has resulted in plenty of rumors across the political spectrum, especially more from conservative figures on social media, who publicly pointed the finger at aides whom they argued are not reliably supportive of the President.

This report was written by Hope Yen and Vivian Salma of the Associated Press.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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