AP Report: Kushner ties to Russian Federation questioned as Trump blasts media

Frederick Owens
May 29, 2017

"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.

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.

The Senate intelligence committee, which is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election, has requested information and documents from Trump's campaign dating back to July 2015, the AP and other news outlets confirmed.

He says that "whenever you see the words "sources say" in the fake news media, and they don't mention names.it is very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy!" the USA leader wrote, spelling errors and all.

Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Trump, listens to President Trump during a listening session with cyber security experts in the Roosevelt Room the White House in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

Rep. Adam Schiff described the reports as "very concerning".

Schiff added that he was disappointed that McMaster defended Kushner and said "this is an administration that takes in people with good credibility and chews them out and spits out their credibility at the same time".

The White House faces mounting questions about potential ties between Russian Federation and Trump's presidential campaign, which are also the subject of criminal and congressional investigations.

Trump plans to make an announcement within the week on his climate position, the official said.

Republicans, meanwhile, downplayed the reports about Kushner - with Sen. But he said that in general, "We have backchannel communication with a number of countries". "So generally speaking, about back-channel communications, what that allows you to do is communicate in a discreet manner". "I would not be concerned about it".

As they return to the US after days on the worldwide stage, Trump and White House aides face the prospect of weeks and months of investigations into their alleged ties to Russian officials during the real estate mogul's long run for the presidency and accusations from opposition Democrats that he has tried to obstruct justice and curtail the probes.

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Michael Flynn, who was Trump s national security adviser for just 24 days before being fired amid questions about meetings he held with the Russian ambassador, was also present, the newspaper reported.

US intelligence operatives reportedly learned about Kushner's interest in backchannel talks through communications that Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak had with Moscow. But he referred to former CIA Director John Brennan's testimony earlier this week that he was "worried by a number of the contacts that the Russians had with USA persons".

In another development, The New York Times reported Friday that Oleg Deripaska, a Russian once close to Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, has offered to cooperate with congressional bodies probing alleged Russian election meddling.

The White House did not acknowledge the meeting or Kushner's attendance until March.

Meanwhile, a parade of senior Republicans appeared on United States airwaves on Sunday to tamp down the story s significance, some saying it was not all that unusual to seek to establish "back channel" ties with a foreign government.

"Really, being spoken to, does not confer a target status on the individual", he said.

"Could it be a ruse" by Russian Federation to get Americans to suspect Kushner?

Meeting with reporters in Sicily, two Trump advisers refused to address the contents of Kushner's December meeting with the Russian diplomat.

The Senate and House Intelligence committees are also leading their own investigations, but not with an eye to bringing criminal charges.

Former director of national intelligence James Clapper reiterated on Sunday that he saw no "smoking gun" evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. Trip was a great success for America.

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