Back home after foreign trip, Trump faces slew of challenges
- Author: Leroy Wright May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 21:33
Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerUncertainty builds in Washington over White House leaks Kushner "sounds like he's more than glad" to answer questions, GOP senator says Sunday shows: Homeland Security chief hits the circuit after Manchester attack MORE (R-Tenn.) said Sunday that White House adviser Jared Kushner appears willing to talk about reports related to his contacts with Russian Federation.
The White House's defense of Kushner is based on a denial that the Russians meddled in the presidential election, and that they interfered to help Trump.
"It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies", Trump tweeted.
Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, had contacts with Moscow in December about opening a secret back channel of communications, according to news reports published while Trump was away on his trip.
Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutiny of Kushner began when intelligence reports of Flynn's contacts with Russians included mentions of U.S. citizens, whose names were redacted because of USA privacy laws.
Trump has blasted leaked reports from anonymous sources as "fake news". If true, the Times' report appears to be inconsistent with the narrative that Trump was engaged in a quid-pro-quo with Russia, as alleged by the infamous Trump dossier that some liberals have used to accuse Trump of colluding with the Russians.
Kushner offered in March to be interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is also investigating Russia's attempts to interfere in last year's election.
The FBI is reportedly looking into Kushner and the Kislyak conversation as part of its probe into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
This person says the administration felt there was no need for a back channel once Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was confirmed, and the Trump team chose to communicate with Moscow through more official channels. Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on ABC's "This Week" that Kushner should appear before the panel and that his security clearance needs to be reviewed.
In response to repeated questions from reporters, Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn said, "We're not going to comment on Jared".
The third matter of concern for the President is about the memo in which Trump asked Former FBI Director James Comey to end the FBI probe into ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn.
However, at a press conference in Italy on Saturday, the final day of Trump's nine-day trip, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster acknowledged that the United States indeed has back-channel communications with a number of countries that allow officials to "communicate in a discreet manner".
The alleged proposal was made at a meeting on December 1 or December 2 at Trump Tower in NY with Russia's Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, weeks before Trump took office.
For the president-elect's incoming National Security Advisor to conduct direct talks about ongoing military operations with a foreign government outside the auspices of the American government would be highly unorthodox but not necessarily indicative of anything more nefarious than Flynn's deep distrust for an Obama administration national security team that, after all, fired him.
Lawyers for Kushner said he was willing to talk with federal and congressional investigators about his foreign contacts and his work on the Trump campaign.
The report is the latest allegation of potential collusion between Trump's campaign team and Russian Federation, which USA government intelligence agencies have accused of meddling in last year's election. Kushner's attorney, Jamie Gorelick, told Reuters that Kushner "has no recollection of the calls as described".