Published: Wed, May 31, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Trump's communications aide steps down as president grapples with Russian Federation issue

"What we saw was a confident president who projected American strength. and represented the United States in a way that should make us proud". Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News the White House will continue to bring in Cabinet secretaries and other top officials to handle news briefings on topics in their patch. Kushner came back to Washington a few days earlier than Trump, just before news dropped that at an early December meeting with the Russian ambassador, which the administration only acknowledged in March, he had proposed setting up a backchannel of communication between the Russians and the Trump transition team.

Washington is waiting with bated breath for Senate testimony by former FBI director James Comey, who was sacked by Trump as he oversaw an investigation into possible collusion between the Republican's campaign and Moscow.

Kushner's Lawyer Jamie Gorelick said that the White House senior adviser would be willing to talk to federal investigators as well as Congress about his contacts with Russian officials and his role in Trump's election campaign. Because he is directly connected with Trump.

Kushner is the latest member of the administration to fall under fire.

It is highly unlikely that Trump's son-in-law has been acting on his own, without any awareness of Donald Trump, the political analyst said. Kushner spoke with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the USA, about creating the secret line to make it easier to hold sensitive discussions about the conflict in Syria, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

That is why, he said, the scandal will be inflamed by more revelations, according to the logic of an unwinding scandal.

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.

And, there is no sign that Trump has sidelined him, as the president told The New York Times, "Jared is doing a great job for the country".

"Honestly, I haven't asked him", Spicer said.

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In an interview on Fox News on Tuesday, Conway said Dubke "made very clear that he would see through the president's global trip, and come to work every day and work hard even through that trip because there was much to do here back at the White House".

Meanwhile, Mr Trump's National Security Advisor HR McMaster said, generally speaking, "we have back-channel communication with a number of countries".

Nevertheless, some critics have called for Kushner's security clearance to be revoked, while others say he should temporarily step aside while his ties to Moscow are being reviewed.

The investigation into Russia's influence in last year's presidential election has now spread to include Donald Trump's personal attorney.

CNN's Jim Acosta, who has notably sparred with Trump over the concept of "fake news", pressed Spicer for an example.

"It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media", he wrote. But Spicer will hold an on-camera briefing at the White House Tuesday afternoon, his first since May 15. He added that it is "very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers".

The back channel was meant to connect Michael Flynn, who later became Trump's first national security adviser, with Russian military leaders, said the person, who wasn't authorized to publicly discuss private policy considerations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

For Trump's critics, that was evidence of unbridled hubris - a sign the president and his aides had no idea how hard it is to run the White House, America and the world.

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