Trump quickly finds voice on Twitter after returning from foreign trip

But Trump immediately railed against administration leaks in a flurry of tweets Sunday, calling them "fabricated lies".

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

Kushner's status in the White House came under scrutiny Friday, when the Washington Post first reported he spoke with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak about establishing a backchannel line of communication between Russian officials and the Trump transition team.

News reports said the White House, reeling from the developments in the Russian Federation saga, is creating a new rapid-fire communications unit to respond to the controversy, led by Mr Kushner, senior presidential adviser Steve Bannon and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Asked about it on Fox News Sunday, Kelly said, "I don't see the big deal".

"We have back-channel communications with any number of countries", General McMaster said.

Kelly did not address the question of using Russian communications channels from a Russian diplomatic outpost to shield those discussions.

During an appearance on ABC's "This Week," Schiff explained the concern isn't simply that Kushner and other members of Trump's campaign and transition team were in contact with the Russians.

Schiff said that if he had confirmation of the allegations, Kushner's security clearance should be revoked.

Democrats, not surprisingly, had a less forgiving view.

If the topic of the secret communication was about Syria, that doesn't mitigate the situation because Russia's objectives are different from those of the US, especially given intelligence that Russian Federation tried to interfere in the USA presidential election, Schiff said. What that allows you to do is communicate in a discreet manner.

"Russia is going to be punished for what it did, in interfering in our elections", he said.

The President, who significantly curtailed his presence on Twitter during his first worldwide tour - which took him to Saudi Arabia, Israel, The Vatican, Brussels and Sicily - could certainly be irritated at the revelations regarding Kushner published by The Washington Post last Friday in an article citing "US.officials briefed on intelligence reports". "I don't trust this story as far as I can throw it", he said. He instead called for a review to determine whether Kushner was being truthful when he applied for his clearance to serve in the White House.

He said that when he called his counterpart in the offer condolences over the attack, "She rightfully then said, 'Thanks for that".

A person familiar with Trump's thinking says the president believes he is facing more of a communications problem than a legal one. "So he needs to be held accountable", Graham said on CNN's "State of the Union".

"My dashboard warning light was clearly on", he said on "Meet the Press".

He is the only person now in the White House known to be under investigation.

Reports about alleged contacts between Trump's aides and Russian officials during last year's presidential campaign coincided with accusations by USA intelligence agencies that Moscow sought to boost Trump's chances of defeating his presidential rival Hillary Clinton through computer hacking and propaganda.

Trump also could shake up his top White House staff, to present a better face to the public and advance his stalled legislative agenda in Congress.

"Naturally, we'll maintain our friendship with the United States ... wherever possible", Merkel said.

In Brussels, Trump had rattled allies by declining to explicitly endorse the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance's bedrock common defense pledge.

  • Leroy Wright