Kelly defends plan for Russia back channel as a 'good thing'

The disclosures dogged the president during his first trip overseas since taking office and threaten to overwhelm and stall the agenda for his young administration.

Trump spent Sunday meeting with attorneys at the White House, presumably to set strategy for dealing with the Russian Federation investigation that has largely sidetracked his legislative agenda.

A rally planned Thursday in Iowa was postponed due to "an unforeseen change" in Trump's schedule.

In yet another tweet, amid criticism of his frequent Twitter rants, Trump wrote: "the Fake News Media works hard at disparaging & demeaning my use of social media because they don't want America to hear the real story!" 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. He wouldn't be the leaker, since he wouldn't have leaked this or other information about the Russian investigations. "Gave me full details!"

"Whenever you see the words "sources say" in the fake news media, and they don't mention names it is very possible that those sources don't exsist but are made up by fake news writers". Current and former USA officials told the Times that the meeting might have been part of an effort by Kushner to establish a direct line to the Kremlin outside of established diplomatic channels.

The latest reports in the Russian Federation matter said Kushner spoke with Russia's ambassador to the United States about setting up secret communications with Moscow during the presidential transition.

Trump's longtime lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, has joined a still-forming legal team to help the president shoulder the intensifying Russian Federation investigations.

But allies of the president suggest that even if Kushner steps back from his White House role, it would be unlikely to ease any of the pressure on the president over Russian Federation.

Flynn handed in his resignation in February, ousted on grounds that he had misled top White House officials about his contacts with Russian officials.

As he mulls changes, Trump has entertained formally bringing back his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and former deputy campaign manager, David Bossie.

Lewandowski's return would be notable, given the fact that he was sacked by Trump after clashing with staff and Trump's adult children.

Trump has long believed that he is his most effective spokesperson and has groused about supporters and aides not defending him vigorously enough.

Per a White House official, the plan was always for them to depart after the first part of the trip, during which the President spoke to three of the world's biggest religions in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican.

The wider investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling is being led by Robert Mueller, a respected former FBI director who was given broad powers to pursue the case as a special counsel.

Comey is expected to testify before Congress after Memorial Day about memos he kept on conversations with the president that pertained to the investigation.

The latest twist involves the president's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who reportedly tried to set up a back channel for communications between the Trump team and Moscow.

It has been claimed Kushner discussed setting up a backchannel with the Russian ambassador in December. "So, generally speaking, about back-channel communications, what that allows you to do is to communicate in a discreet manner", McMaster said.

Ivanka Trump, perhaps the President's most trusted adviser, was not involved in the writing of that statement, the administration official said. The charge that he sought to use a hostile government's communications system to avoid scrutiny from his own country's government is too serious an allegation for the 36-year-old to continue his role as a top White House adviser - at least until he's provided some explanation for it (as well as several other previously unreported contacts with Kislyak during the campaign).

Other major issues await Trump at home. He has signaled he will soon make a decision on whether to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

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