Trump eyes White House overhaul, outside lawyers and PR team

Posted May 31, 2017

The latest furore was stirred up after the Washington Post reported late last Friday that Mr Jared Kushner - arguably Mr Trump's closest White House aide, and husband to the President's eldest daughter Ivanka - made a pre-inauguration proposal to the Russian ambassador to set up a secret, bug-proof link with the Kremlin.

All eyes are back on Washington President Trump has returned from his nine-day trip overseas and as business picks back up following the Memorial Day holiday, Mr. Trump must return to the realities of being president.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted that "whenever you see the words "sources say" in the fake news media, and they don't mention is very possibly that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers".

In interviews Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he did not know if the reports are true.

As they return to the US after days on the global stage, Trump and White House aides face the prospect of weeks and months of investigations into their alleged ties to Russian officials during the real estate mogul's long run for the presidency and accusations from opposition Democrats that he has tried to obstruct justice and curtail the probes.

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.

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After the address, Trump visited a section of the cemetery for USA service members killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The White House said Trump visited the gravesite of Robert Kelly, who was laid to rest in Section 60 .

Russian officials spoke of having potentially "derogatory" information about Donald Trump during the 2016 election campaign, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing two former intel officials and a source in Congress. "#FakeNews is the enemy!" the United States leader wrote, spelling errors and all.

More attorneys with deep experience in Washington investigations are expected to be added, along with crisis communication experts, to help the White House in the weeks ahead.

Rep. Adam Schiff described the reports as "very concerning".

According to the Post's report, Kislyak shared Kushner's offer with his superiors in Russian Federation, and those communications were intercepted by USA intelligence officials.

During the Trump administration's first week, administration officials said they were considering an executive order to unilaterally lift the sanctions, which bar Americans from providing financing to and could limit borrowing from Gorkov's bank, Vnesheconombank.

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.

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Putting a huge arms deal at the center of the visit also plays into the hands of foes who say US policy is driven mainly by money. Trump essentially picked a side in the religious, sectarian and political split that has engulfed the Middle East.

At a minimum, Kushner's chat with the Russian ambassador about establishing a back-channel line of communication is worrisome. A Trump surrogate, Rick Santorum, said the goal was just getting the Russians to back away from their alliance with Iran.

Mr Schiff said he expected Mr Kushner to appear before his committee, and suggested his security clearance be reviewed. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, noted that Kushner has been willing to answer questions.

Trump said he was thinking of "this Russian Federation thing" as he ousted Comey, who was in the fourth year of a 10-year term as head of the country's top criminal investigative agency.

The meeting came as Trump was openly feuding with US intelligence agencies and their conclusion that Russian Federation had tried to disrupt the presidential election and turn it in his favor.

Questions continue about allegations that his campaign and associates had contacts with Russian officials before he entered the White House.

"Obviously, the relationships that Jared was able to establish during transition helped develop this phenomenal worldwide trip that they just came back from", she said, though it is unclear if she was making a direct reference to the reporting on his attempts to secretly communicate with the Kremlin. "They are not our friends".

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