“They need to quarantine this stuff and put the investigations in a separate communications operation”, said Jack Quinn, who served as White House counsel for President Bill Clinton.
Monday’s ceremony at Arlington Ceremony marked Mr Trump’s first public appearance since returning to Washington from a nine-day foreign trip. “I don’t see any big issue here”, he said in a TV interview on Sunday.
Trump administration officials and several powerful Republican senators have rushed to the defense of White House adviser Jared Kushner over reports that he discussed establishing secure backchannel communications with Russia’s government during the transition.
“I have total confidence in him”. He is respected by virtually everyone and is working on programs that will save our country billions of dollars.
Trump believed he was facing more of a communications problem than a legal one, despite the intensifying inquiries, one person familiar with his thinking told the AP.
Reuters has reported that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak a year ago, including two phone calls between April and November.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s National Security Advisor HR McMaster said, generally speaking, “we have back-channel communication with a number of countries”.
They include reports that Mr Jared Kushner sought a secret communications line with Moscow.
“There’s another question about his security clearance and whether he was forthcoming about his contacts on that, ” Schiff said on ABC News’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”.
The White House declined to comment on the report, but President Trump tweeted Sunday morning that reports about his administration with attribution to anonymous sources are “fake news”.
“It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies”, Trump tweeted.
Meanwhile, a parade of senior Republicans appeared on U.S. airwaves on Sunday to tamp down the story s significance, some saying it was not all that unusual to seek to establish “back channel” ties with a foreign government.
The plan could reportedly include building a “war room” within the White House to combat the scandal and feature the return of some of Mr Trump’s more combative campaign aides, including Corey Lewandowski, who was sacked as campaign manager almost a year ago, and David N. Bossie, who was deputy campaign manager and made his name in politics by investigating Bill and Hillary Clinton for two decades, the Post reported. The Washington Post is reporting that the FBI is investigating meetings that Trump’s son-in-law, Kushner, had in December 2016, with Russian officials.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, said he would not confirm the stories about Kushner’s conversations, but added that he was “very concerned” about reports of the Trump administration approaching Russian Federation “from a theoretical standpoint”. The request from the committee arrived last week at campaign headquarters in NY, according to person familiar with the request who wasn’t authorized to discuss the developments publicly and demanded anonymity.