Trump Assails News Media Accounts of White House Turmoil

Trump on Sunday attacked the news media and dismissed leaks from the White House as "fake news" and "fabricated" amid reports about alleged communications between Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington.

Reports on Friday said that Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak told the Russian government in December that Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior aide, had requested a back-channel with Russia for Trump's team.

"It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media", Trump said on Twitter - a likely reference to The Washington Post's story about Kushner on Friday, which was sourced to anonymous USA officials.

On Saturday, national security adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters that he "would not be concerned about a back-channel" between Trump and the Kremlin.

Reuters has reported that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak past year, including two phone calls between April and November.

The Trump White House is frustrated with the Russian Federation election meddling investigation - and the president himself has complained to friends he doesn't have a coordinated response to the seemingly daily disclosures.

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

With someone so close to Trump in the crosshairs, special counsel Robert Mueller has every reason to examine any relationships between the Trump campaign and Russian officials or oligarchs in minute detail - and also to look closely at any Russia connections the Trump and Kushner family business empires might have.

- Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, spoke exclusively to ABC News' Martha Raddatz on "This Week" Sunday about his concerns with Kusher, Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor. He is reported to have done so before Trump assumed the presidency, so would have been a private citizen at the time.

The Democratic National Committee has called for Kushner's security clearance to be suspended until the federal investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election and possible ties to Trump associates is completed.

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

Schiff was particularly concerned about a Washington Post report that the back channel would have been conducted at a Russian diplomatic facility to avoid monitoring in US communications systems.

The official said the two share a "healthy understanding that there's attention on you when you're at this level", adding that they are "unfazed" by the scrutiny of the past week.

But while Bannon's name has not come up publicly in the Russian Federation investigation, at least thus far, Kushner is now reportedly a focus of the FBI probe.

Republicans, meanwhile, downplayed the reports about Kushner - with Sen. "They reached out to us yesterday to make sure that we knew that was the case and I'm sure he's willing to do so", Corker said on NBC's "Meet the Press". They're staying put but have previously told friends they will continue to evaluate and reassess whether they plan to stay in Washington.

  • Leroy Wright