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Trump says he favors more money for health care

Trump says he favors more money for health care Trump says he favors more money for health care
Nellie Chapman | 03 June, 2017, 02:07

A White House spokesman says President Donald Trump has a "fairly unbelievable" relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Trump returned to the White House after a nine-day trip to the Middle East and Europe that ended on Saturday to face more questions about alleged communications between Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington.

"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.

Donald Trump returned to the USA from a relatively successful nine-day worldwide tour on Saturday - a day after the Washington Post reported that Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior aide, sought to set up secret "back channel" communications between Russian Federation and the Trump presidential transition team in December 2016.

Uncertainty and confusion appear to reign in Washington after a steady flow of leaks over the past week ranging from reports that senior White House adviser Jared Kushner tried to set up backchannel communications with Russian Federation to the unauthorized release of information about the U.K.'s investigation into the Manchester attack.

But CNN's Jeff Zeleny, fresh back from covering the trip, said Kushner was aware of a coming Washington Post report detailing his role in the Russian Federation election meddling investigation and decided it was best not to be at the President's side on the world stage when that news broke. And that Kushner is now a focus of the federal investigation into the Trump campaign now being run by former FBI director Robert Mueller. Trump officials were preparing to establish a "war room" to address an issue that has begun to dominate his young presidency.

Investigators are also interested in a meeting Mr Kushner had with Russian banker Sergey Gorkov, according to reports.

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.

"My dashboard warning light was clearly on", said James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence.

National security adviser HR McMaster, speaking generally, said: "We have back channel communications with a number of countries. #FakeNews is the enemy!"

The newspaper cited anonymous United States officials who were briefed on intelligence reports on intercepted Russian communications.

Frustrated with what he views as his team's inability to push back against the drumbeat of new revelations, Trump is seeking expanded teams of lawyers and experienced public relations hands.

His comments were echoed by the administration's Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

He went on to dismiss concerns that the rumor, if true, was not "a good thing".

Even when authorized, however, top officials in the Trump White House frequently request anonymity to brief reporters "on background", meaning their names will not be disclosed.

US Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said such secret channels may be used in situations including peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan or for the release of American hostages. "You have to ask, well, who are they hiding the conversation from?" he asked on ABC.

Nevertheless, some critics have called for Kushner's security clearance to be revoked, while others say he should temporarily step aside while his ties to Moscow are being reviewed.

Michael Flynn, who was Trump's national security adviser for just 24 days before being fired amid questions about meetings he held with the Russian ambassador, was also present, the newspaper reported.