Trump returns to United States ready to make major changes amid Russian Federation crisis
- Author: Leroy Wright May 31, 2017,
May 31, 2017, 6:30
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, is uneasy with a report that Trump son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner attempted to set up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin during the transition, before Mr. Trump was inaugurated.
Two sources familiar with the matter told ABC News that Kushner did talk about establishing a back channel with the Russian ambassador last December.
Kelly rejected the idea that such a back channel of communication with Russian officials would be damaging to USA security interests.
"So it doesn't pre-expose you to any sort of content or any kind of conversation or anything".
Meanwhile, Mr Trump's National Security Advisor HR McMaster said, generally speaking, "we have back-channel communication with a number of countries".
While the recent firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey and an inquiry into ties between his campaign and Russian Federation were subjects Mr Trump wanted to avoid discussing, that imperative was only heightened by revelations in the closing days of the trip about the FBI's growing interest in engagement with Russian Federation by Mr Trump's son-in- law Jared Kushner. But he said that as long as the information was shared with the USA government, it didn't represent a problem.
"It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media", he wrote.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said Sunday on ABC that United States officials need to get to the bottom of the allegations against Kushner, including if Kushner was not honest about his Russian Federation contacts during the security clearance process. And the top-ranking Democrat on the House committee investigating potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation called for a review of Kushner's security clearance.
He unleashed a flurry of tweets, lashing out at what he called the "fake news" media.
"I do think there ought to be a review of his security clearance to find out whether he was truthful, whether he was candid", Schiff said.
The scrutiny includes Kushner's dealings with Russian Federation.
Trump, who was initially expected to stop by the PGA golf tournament hosted at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia, made no public appearances Sunday. The teams will also hone messaging on the Russian Federation probe, CBS News' Steve Chaggaris reported. He focused heavily on leaks - both those coming out of the White House and an intelligence leak blamed on Americans about the deadly bombing at a concert in Britain.
"You've got the ambassador to Russian Federation reporting back to Moscow on an open channel", Graham said.
After an election, the president-elect and his staff typically contact foreign governments in coordination with the current administration, Cohen said.
And, there is no sign that Trump has sidelined him, as the president told The New York Times, "Jared is doing a great job for the country". His actions have crossed so many lines that there are none left to cross.
Meanwhile, the White House is shaking up its communications team. "Every explanation offered so far has been wholly unsatisfying", Finer said.