jh-siesta.com January 19, 2018

DHS chief says reported Russian back-channel not a 'big deal'

31 May 2017, 12:27 | Ignacio Ramos

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that numerous leaks from the White House were "fake news", following reports his son-in-law tried to set up a secret channel of communications with Moscow before Trump took office.

A Democrat on the House Oversight Committee is calling on the White House to suspend the security clearance of President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

"Kushner, who some say has sealed himself off from the competing White House power centers, may now be in a position of needing allies". Kushner, Trump added, is "respected by virtually everyone" and "is a very good person".

Donald Trump may have ordered Jared Kushner to try and set up a secret communication link with Russian Federation, a former Central Intelligence Agency official has claimed.

Other White House officials have come to Kushner's defense as well, including national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who said he was "not concerned" by the reports, and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, who said Sunday that "any channel of communication, back or otherwise, with a country like Russian Federation is a good thing".

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said Sunday on ABC that U.S. officials need to get to the bottom of the allegations against Kushner, including if Kushner was not honest about his Russian Federation contacts during the security clearance process.

"It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media", Trump tweeted.

Donald Trump's Jewish son-in-law and key adviser has been caught up in an escalating scandal over the USA president's links to Russian Federation, after it was revealed that he set up a secret "back channel" before Trump even took office. Dubke's departure comes as aides say Trump has grown increasingly frustrated by allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and revelations of possible ties between his campaign and Moscow.

"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".

Mr Kushner's lawyers said he was willing to talk with federal and congressional investigators about his foreign contacts and his work on the Trump campaign.

In private conversations, Ivanka Trump and Kushner have reportedly complained about what he sees as undue scrutiny for his actions, which he views as reflecting the president's inexperience and unconventional diplomatic methods.

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