Trump hits out at 'fake news' following Kushner reports

Jared Kushner, who was a top White House adviser, made the proposal at a meeting with the Russian ambassador to the United States last December, a person familiar with the talks said.

Even as a member of President Donald Trump's Cabinet said he doesn't see reports of White House adviser Jared Kushner seeking secret communications with Russian Federation as "any big deal", a top House Democrat said the security clearance for Trump's son-in-law needs to be reviewed.

At the request of the White House, Senator Corker hosted a meeting earlier this month during which National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell provided information to and sought input from a number of senators regarding President Trump's first global trip.

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, and made a decision to communicate with Moscow through more official channels.

John Kelly, the Secretary of Homeland Security, said he thought Mr Kushner's request to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak was both "normal" and "appropriate".

Trump called his maiden trip overseas a "home run", but while the White House had hoped it would serve as a reset, attention on the Russian Federation probe has only increased.

Meeting with reporters in Sicily, two Trump advisers refused to address the contents of Kushner's December meeting with the Russian diplomat.

The White House itself is subject to more rigorous recordkeeping rules, and White House counsel Don McGahn directed staffers in February to preserve documents and other records that could be requested or used in ongoing federal investigations into Russian election meddling.

Kelly, in separate talk-show appearances on Sunday, said there was nothing untoward about an incoming administration establishing communications with a foreign power in order to lay the groundwork for better relations.

He said that Kushner's contacts with the Russians, if true, present "a real problem" in whether President Trump's son-in-law should be trusted.

Clapper noted that it's not up to him to decide what kind of action should be taken as a response to Russia's attempts to interfere with the US election, but he said, "certainly sanctions are a compelling, powerful weapon-Russians don't like them". But he said on "Fox News Sunday" that "any channel of communications back or otherwise with a country like Russian Federation is a good thing".

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".

- According to several aides and outside allies of President Donald Trump, his top priority upon his return from his first foreign trip will be a possible retooling of his senior staff and the creation of a "war room" inside the White House.

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

Trump has blasted leaked reports from anonymous sources as "fake news".

The Washington Post report came one day after reports that Kushner is the focus of the FBI's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

"I was having a conversation with her stepdaddy and her mama and her, my wife, about me taking my children home", the suspect says on the video.

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