Published: Sat, June 03, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

Trump dismisses 'fabricated' report of son-in-law's outreach to Russian Federation

Trump dismisses 'fabricated' report of son-in-law's outreach to Russian Federation

The Republican president has also repeatedly expressed frustration with internal leaks coming from the White House.

But, he does have a few rules.

The news of the secret channel proposal came in the same week that Reuters reported that Kushner had three unreported contacts with the Russians between April and November of past year.

Kushner in March said he was ready to testify about his Russian Federation meetings to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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.

Then last week happened.

CBS News has confirmed Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, discussed setting up back-channel communications between the Trump transition team and Russian Federation during a December meeting.

The administration had hoped Trump's nine-day turn in the global spotlight would offer a respite from relentless coverage of an ever-widening probe into Russian meddling in last year's election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign - with its endless barrage of newspaper scoops and explosive revelations.

Kushner was a trusted Trump adviser past year, overseeing the campaign's digital strategy. Reuters reported that Kushner had at least three previously unreported contacts with Kislyak both during and after the 2016 campaign.

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The Washington Post said Kushner's secret communications proposal was made December 1 or 2 at Trump Tower in NY, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by USA officials.

The details are complicated as to what Kushner knew and what he was trying to do.

The House Intelligence Committee also is investigating Russian interference in the election, and Schiff repeatedly declined to confirm whether the committee had been aware of the allegations against Kushner before The Post's report came out.

In office, Trump remains under pressure. "Jared is doing a great job for the country", he told the Times Sunday night. "I have total confidence in him". And, Kushner - and Ivanka - are "laying low", certain that he will survive this episode.

President Trump canceled plans for a campaign-style rally this week in Iowa, but keep an eye on next week: Several sources tell CNN the White House is making plans for a roadshow to highlight the President's infrastructure ideas.

But privately, the picture is less clear.

Administration officials close to President Donald Trump have been pushing Kushner to step aside while the FBI investigates meetings that Kushner he had with Russian figures during the transition period following the November election, The Hill reported. He's now relayed on Twitter that he thinks Russian officials are amused by the constant reporting of various stories about his administration having ties to Russia. More attorneys with deep experience in Washington investigations are expected to be added, along with crisis communication experts, to help the White House in the weeks ahead.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday (24 May) that the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a document detailing an alleged email from then-Democratic National Committee (DNC) chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I mean, this becomes more and more freaky. Firing her husband - or publicly demoting him - is a sure-fire recipe to break that most important bond for Donald Trump.

There is no indication Kushner is now a target of the FBI's probe, and there are no allegations he committed any wrongdoing. Trump might not be willing - or able - to get rid of Kushner, but if past is prologue he will find some staffer (or maybe a few) to project his frustration onto.

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