Kellyanne Conway Addresses Kushner Reports: Backchannels Are 'Regular Course of Business'
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 01, 2017,
Jun 01, 2017, 23:43
Trump has not directly addressed the allegations of the secret line to Moscow, but took to Twitter after his return to Washington to dismiss White House leaks as "fabricated lies" and "fake news". "#FakeNews is the enemy!"
President Trump has tweeted that all these recent leaks are just fake news.
In his Sunday tweets, the president also referred to his global trip, saying "Just returned from Europe".
President Donald Trump says Russian officials "must be laughing at the U.S".
Meanwhile, a parade of senior administration officials tried to downplay the story, saying it was not all that unusual to establish "back-channel" ties with a foreign government.
The intent was to connect Trump's chief national security adviser at the time, Michael Flynn, with Russian military leaders, a person familiar with the discussions told the AP. "I would not be concerned about it".
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly agreed.
"It's both normal, in my opinion, and acceptable", he said on ABC's This Week.
But the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating the Russian election meddling, was dubious about those assertions. Representative Adam Schiff said in an interview with ABC News.
"If they want me to be helpful on the inside, I'd be willing to consider that".
Two Republican U.S. senators played down the Kushner reports on Sunday, while the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, took a darker view of such contacts with representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The AP and other news organizations reported that Kushner in December proposed a back channel between the Kremlin and the Trump transition team.
On the day he first entered the White House, Kushner became his go-to guy in charge of a wide array of issues, including. peace in the Middle East.
More lawyers with deep experience in Washington investigations are expected to be added, along with crisis communication experts, to help the White House in the weeks ahead.
His contacts with Russian Federation are now making headlines, but he's also been a main point of contact with other foreign officials in Mexico, China and Canada.