Trump eyes White House overhaul, outside lawyers and PR team

Keith Crain is Editor-in Chief of Automotive News

Back channel communications are just "the regular course of business", White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox & Friends in an interview Tuesday, as she defended President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

Jason Greenblatt, the White House adviser on worldwide negotiations, told the Times that Kushner has helped shape policy options on the topic of the Middle East. Greenblatt said that Kushner deserved much of the credit for Trump's trip last week to the Middle East.

"Any way that you can communicate with people, particularly organisations that are maybe not particularly friendly to us, is a good thing".

It is possible, of course, that Kushner was acting on Trump's orders when he allegedly suggested setting up a secret communications channel with Moscow using Russia's secure equipment.

He says that "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 exist but are made up by fake news writers".

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.

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President Donald Trump is assailing internal leaks as he considers an overhaul of his White House staff and grapples with a burgeoning crisis involving alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign.

Citing unnamed officials who had reviewed U.S. intercepts of communications between Kislyak and Moscow, the newspaper reported that the Russian ambassador told his superiors that Kushner had suggested the talks utilize secure Russian facilities. "#FakeNews is the enemy!" the U.S. leader wrote, spelling errors and all.

The committee also has asked Trump's campaign to produce all documents, emails and telephone records going back to the beginning of his run for the White House in June 2015, the Washington Post also reported Friday, citing two unnamed people who were briefed on the request.

The disclosure of the back channel has put the White House on the defensive. So it doesn't predispose you toward any sort of content of that conversation or anything.

If the Trump White House thinks it's normal, one has got to wonder what other pieces of the mysterious puzzle are still to be revealed. Michael Flynn, who was Trump's national security adviser for just 24 days before being fired amid questions about meetings he held with the Russian ambassador, was also present, the newspaper reported. The Democratic National Committee issued a statement declaring: "Trump has no choice but to immediately fire Kushner, whose failure to report this episode on his security clearance is reason enough for a criminal investigation". Kushner is under scrutiny - not necessarily the subject of any investigation or suspected of any wrongdoing - in the FBI's probe.

Remember back when the pro-Trump forces were in such a almost constant frenzy over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she'd been secretary of state? "The whole story line is suspicious".

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