WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump attacked good news media and dismissed leaks in the White House as "fake news" on Sunday, following reports his son-in-law made an effort to create a secret channel of communications with Moscow before Trump took office.
Shortly after Trump's remarks on Twitter, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly made the rounds of Sunday television news shows to praise any so-called back channel communications, especially with Russia, as "an excellent."
The Republican president returned for the White House after a nine-day trip to the guts East and Europe that ended on Saturday in order to manage more queries about alleged communications between Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington.
"It is my opinion that lots of the leaks taken from the White House are fabricated lies comprised through the #FakeNews media," Trump wrote in a series of Twitter updates on Sunday.
In a statement at a later date Sunday night, carried from the Ny Times, Trump praised Kushner and also the work they have carried out in the White House.
“Jared is progressing a fantastic job to your country,” he explained. “I have total confidence in him. He’s respected by virtually everyone and is particularly taking care of programs that should save our country huge dollars. In addition to that, and maybe moreover, he’s a very good person.”
The White House faces mounting questions potential ties between Russia and Trump's presidential campaign, that are and also subject of criminal and congressional investigations.
Trump officials were getting set up a "war room" to treat an issue that has begun to dominate his young presidency.
Aides said Trump was likely meet with lawyers as small as Sunday, the revolutionary York Times reported.
'DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHT'
Two Republican U.S. senators played down the Kushner reports on Sunday, even though the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, took a darker examine such contacts with representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"My dashboard warning light was clearly on and i believe that’s the way it is with all of us inside intelligence community – very focused on the nature of these solutions to the Russians," Clapper told NBC's "Fulfill the Press."
Kushner, who will be married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, had contacts with Moscow in December about opening a secret back channel of communications, according to news reports published while Trump was away on his trip.
The 36-year-old Kushner, a true estate developer without previous government experience, had at least three previously undisclosed contacts while using Russian ambassador into the Usa during and after the 2019 presidential campaign, seven current and former U.S. officials told Reuters.
"If you understand the words 'sources say' within the fake press, so they don't mention names," Trump wrote, "it is rather feasible that those sources don't exist but you are created by fake news writers. #FakeNews could be the enemy!"
Contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials in the campaign coincided as to what U.S. intelligence agencies concluded was really a Kremlin effort through computer hacking, fake news and propaganda to increase Trump's possibility of winning the White House.
'A very good THING'
White House officials defended the technique of secret communications channels without commenting specifically within the Kushner case. National security adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters on Saturday that so-called back-channeling wasn’t unusual.
Kelly, the homeland security secretary, carried precisely the same message on Sunday.
"It's both normal, in my opinion, and acceptable," he said on ABC's "This Week" program. "That is you could get in touch with people, particularly organizations that will be maybe not particularly friendly to all of us, is an effective thing."
Kelly told "Fox News Sunday" there was nothing wrong while using the Trump transition team aiming to build relationships while using the Russians since they prepared to take control of the White House.
U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, the highest Democrat for the House Intelligence Committee, said such secret channels can be utilized in situations including peace talks using the Taliban in Afghanistan and the production of American hostages.
"Specifically people belonging to the campaign and then campaign has expired where the Russians during that campaign were helping you, as a measure to create a back channel and hide it out of your own government, that's a life threatening allegation," he stated.
Schiff was particularly worried about a Washington Post report that a corner channel might have been conducted in the Russian diplomatic facility to protect yourself from monitoring in U.S. communications systems. "You must ask, well, who definitely are they hiding the conversation from?" he was quoted saying on ABC.
Schiff said he expected Kushner, who can an unpaid adviser to Trump, appearing before his committee and suggested his security clearance be reviewed.
Kushner initially had go to a persons vision of FBI investigators last year as they simply began scrutinizing?former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s connections with Russian officials, the 2 main sources told Reuters.
Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham told CNN he doubted the Kushner reports were accurate. Senator Bob Corker, chairman from the Foreign Relations Committee, noted that Kushner has long been able to respond to questions. "They reached in the market to us yesterday to make certain we knew that was the way it is and I’m sure he’s willing to implement it,” Corker said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Though he or she not seen proof of collusion whilst stepped on Jan. 20, Clapper said many of the signs made an FBI investigation not just appropriate but necessary.
"Russia, no less than in my money, is our primary adversary," he told NBC. "They are not our friends. These are straight into do us in."