President Trump's Son-in-Law Pushes Back Report Alleging Back-Channel with Russian Federation


Homeland Security chief John Kelly said the latest scandal to engulf the administration was "no big deal".

"I think any channel of communication - back or otherwise - with a country like Russian Federation is a good thing", he told Wallace on "Fox News Sunday."You just have to assume, obviously, that what you're getting ... may not be true, they might be working you, but that's the whole point".

The plan could reportedly include building a "war room" within the White House to combat the scandal and feature the return of some of Mr Trump's more combative campaign aides, including Corey Lewandowski, who was sacked as campaign manager almost a year ago, and David N. Bossie, who was deputy campaign manager and made his name in politics by investigating Bill and Hillary Clinton for two decades, the Post reported.

The Senate Intelligence Committee notified the White House in March that it planned to question Kushner about the meeting.

"They need to quarantine this stuff and put the investigations in a separate communications operation", said Jack Quinn, who served as White House counsel for President Bill Clinton. “If not, theres no way he can maintain that kind of a clearance.”.

His whirlwind foreign trip over, President Donald Trump is facing old and new political and policy challenges at home.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster refused to talk about the allegations. The person and others discussing private conversations spoke on condition of anonymity.

Russia, a pivotal player in Syria, has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad, often at the expense of civilians and at odds with US policy during Syria's long civil war.

During an appearance on ABC's "This Week", Schiff explained the concern isn't simply that Kushner and other members of Trump's campaign and transition team were in contact with the Russians. 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. Cory Booker, N.J., said the reported Kushner meeting needs additional probing.

They also said they were not once investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the incident.

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The disclosure of the back channel has put the White House on the defensive.

Trump began his series of tweets Sunday morning acknowledging the contentious Montana special congressional race, where Republican Greg Gianforte declared victory on Friday despite being charged with misdemeanor assault after allegations that he "body slammed" a reporter on the day before Election Day.

Meanwhile, White House counsel Donald McGahn is considering expanding his office, and an outside legal team led by Mr Trump's NY lawyer Marc Kasowitz is preparing to meet the President and guide him, including on whether he should continue to tweet about the Russian Federation probe.

"Whenever you see the words "sources say" in the fake news media, and they don't mention is very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers".

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.

Kushner said they didn't have one and suggested using Russian equipment.

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. Flynn was sacked in February, officials saying he misled Vice President Mike Pence about whether he and the ambassador had discussed US sanctions against Russian Federation in a phone call. "ObamaCare is dead - the Republicans will do much better!" He was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in January about his contacts with Kislyak. That includes proposals for more travel and campaign-style rallies nationwide, so that Mr Trump can speak directly to his supporters, as well as changes in the pace and nature of news briefings, probably including a diminished role for embattled White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Reuters has reported that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak a year ago, including two phone calls between April and November.

Washington is waiting with bated breath for Senate testimony by former FBI director James Comey, who was sacked by Trump as he oversaw an investigation into possible collusion between the Republican's campaign and Moscow.