Trump lashes out at leaks, considers staff upheaval

Posted June 01, 2017

As he mulls outside reinforcements to his operation, Trump returned late Saturday from his nine-day journey to a White House seemingly in crisis mode, with a barrage of reports hitting close to the Oval Office and involving Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and influential adviser.

"It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies", Trump tweeted.

"Jared is doing a great job for the country..."

Trump has called the Russian Federation inquiry a "witch hunt" and the talk of a collusion "a total hoax", although he also has hedged his denials when it comes to those around him. He is respected by virtually everyone and is working on programmes that will save our country billions of dollars. "In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he is a very good person", Trump said as quoted by The News York Times.

Major issues await Trump.

In this case, if it is proved that Kushner was negotiating with the Russian Ambassador with the consent of the US President-elect, it will open the way towards Trump's impeachment.

Kelly appeared on Fox News Sunday, NBC's Meet the Press and ABC's This Week, Schiff also spoke on ABC, and Booker was on CNN's State of the Union.

Congressional Democrats demanded to hear directly from Kushner over allegations of the proposed secret back-channel, saying his security clearance may need to be revoked.

Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, has come under the spotlight for his past dealings with the pro-Russian former president of Ukraine.

"Whenever you see the words "sources say" in the fake news media, and they don't mention names", Trump tweeted Sunday amid a morning rant, "it is very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers". #FakeNews is the enemy!

Mr Trump had earlier taken to Twitter to vent his frustrations with the "fake news media".

The line was never established, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.

National security adviser HR McMaster told reporters on Saturday that so-called back-channeling was not unusual.

"It's both normal, in my opinion, and acceptable", Kelly said. But he describes such efforts to communicate as "a good thing". 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.

The Democratic Party and elements within the intelligence apparatus seized on the press reports to escalate their anti-Russian campaign and suggest that Kushner, if not Trump himself, had committed treason.

"If you're going to create a back channel that relies exclusively on the Russian communications and apparatus, that's a really serious issue", added Mark Lowenthal, a former Central Intelligence Agency assistant director.

Mr Schiff was particularly concerned about a Washington Post report that the back channel would have been conducted at a Russian diplomatic facility to avoid monitoring in USA communications systems. So it doesn't predispose you toward any sort of content of that conversation or anything.

"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.

But while Bannon's name has not come up publicly in the Russian Federation investigation, at least thus far, Kushner is now reportedly a focus of the FBI probe.

"Mr Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time period", Gorelick said in an email.

Citing unnamed officials who had reviewed U.S. intercepts of communications between Kislyak and Moscow, the newspaper reported that the Russian ambassador told his superiors that Kushner had suggested the talks utilize secure Russian facilities.

"My dashboard warning light was clearly on", Clapper said.