Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Trump dismisses 'fabricated' report of Kushner's outreach to Russian Federation

Alfredo Watts | 02 June, 2017, 01:57

Fresh off Trump's first official trip overseas, White House communications director Michael Dubke announced his resignation Tuesday in what many inside and outside the White House see as the first shoe to drop.

Contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials during the campaign coincided with what United States intelligence agencies concluded was a Kremlin effort through computer hacking, fake news and propaganda to boost Trump's chances of winning the White House.

Back in Washington on Sunday afternoon, Ivanka Trump was spotted outside the White House, chatting with lawyer Marc Kasowitz before boarding an SUV together.

A rally planned Thursday in Iowa was postponed due to "an unforeseen change" in Trump's schedule. He unleashed a flurry of tweets, lashing out at what he called the "fake news" media.

"It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media", he wrote.

"In terms of messaging, I would give myself a C or a C plus", Trump said in an interview on Fox News Channel early in his term.

Taking to Facebook on Sunday, Trump dismissed allegations of Russian Federation ties as "fake news" and "fabricated lies".

"Whenever you see the words "sources say" in the fake news media, and they don't mention names it is very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers". They have built a thick skin over the past few months in the White House, and they recognize that a certain level of attention comes with the high-profile opportunities they have been given, per the official.

According to news reports published while Trump was away on his trip, Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed discussions with the Russian ambassador about opening a secret back channel of communications to avoid monitoring by USA communications systems.

"He needs to answer for what was happening at the time", Booker said.

He is the only person now in the White House known to be under investigation. "In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he is a very good person". The person wasn't authorized to publicly discuss private policy deliberations and insisted on anonymity.

As he mulls changes, Trump has entertained bringing his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and former deputy campaign manager, David Bossie, formally back into the fold.

Lewandowski's return would be a particularly notable development, given the fact that he was sacked by Trump after clashing with staff and Trump's adult children.

Per a White House official, the plan was always for them to depart after the first part of the trip, during which the President spoke to three of the world's biggest religions in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican.

Recently appointed special counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, is starting off an investigation with a broad mandate that will allow him to probe both the possible Russian influence and whether Trump attempted to obstruct the investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey.

The testimony is expected in the coming days, though a time has not been set.

President Donald Trump has set a major White House shake-up into motion, including bringing back former campaign officials, hiring a crew of outside lawyers to work on the Russian Federation investigation and having his tweets monitored by White House advisors, reported the Wall Street Journal.

It has been claimed Kushner discussed setting up a backchannel with the Russian ambassador in December.

Schiff said he disagreed with White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster's suggestion that such back-channel communications might be typical and not concerning. Michael Flynn, since fired as the president's national security advisor for his Russian associations, was also at the meeting. The charge that he sought to use a hostile government's communications system to avoid scrutiny from his own country's government is too serious an allegation for the 36-year-old to continue his role as a top White House adviser - at least until he's provided some explanation for it (as well as several other previously unreported contacts with Kislyak during the campaign). He has signaled he will make a decision on whether to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. And the search continues for an Federal Bureau of Investigation director to replace the fired James Comey.