Trump defends Kushner, slams 'fake news' about Russian Federation ties

Danny Woods
May 31, 2017

Now that the US President is back from his nine-day worldwide tour, he appeared to be reacting to recent reports, citing anonymous sources, that his son-in-law - Jared Kushner - is being focused upon in the ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the November election and that Trump is planning big changes within the White House staff.

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.

CNN reported on Thursday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking into Kushner's many roles on both Trump's transition team and in the White House.

While overseas, Trump's longtime lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, joined a still-forming legal team to help the president shoulder the intensifying investigations into Russian interference in the election and his associates' potential involvement.

Mr Trump - who is said to have met with attorneys at the White House on Sunday - did not falter in his support for Mr Kushner, who has taken a role as a senior White House aide.

The wider investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling is being led by Robert Mueller, a respected former FBI director who was given broad powers to pursue the case as a special counsel.

More news: Presidents of France, Russia to Overcome Tensions and Strengthen Ties

Ivanka Trump, perhaps the President's most trusted adviser, was not involved in the writing of that statement, the administration official said.

According to the person familiar with the Kushner meeting, the Trump team eventually felt there was no need for a back channel once Rex Tillerson was confirmed as secretary of state on February 1.

Shortly after Trump's remarks on Twitter, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly made the rounds of Sunday television news shows to praise any so-called back channel communications, especially with Russian Federation, as "a good thing".

On Friday, a White House official said, Kushner was back in his West Wing office and had a working lunch with chief of staff Reince Priebus to recap the trip. But they did not dismiss the idea that the administration would go outside normal USA government and diplomatic channels for communications with other countries.

As a possible shakeup looms, Trump has other issues to deal with on the home front. He has signaled he will make a decision on whether to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. In a tweet Sunday night, the president calls for putting more money into the health care system. Aside from the Russian Federation investigation, the president still has to make an official decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement all the while defend his budget plan and hope his health care bill garners support in the Senate. "ObamaCare is dead - the Republicans will do much better!"

While taxes have taken a back seat in recent weeks, Trump tweeted Sunday: "The massive TAX CUTS/REFORM that I have submitted is moving along in the process very well, actually ahead of schedule".

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