The White House's Contradictory Message on Kushner

Cheryl Sanders
June 1, 2017

Controversy over the Russian Federation issue deepened after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey earlier this month, leading to allegations by critics that the president sought to hamper the agency's investigation of the matter.

Fired FBI director James Comey plans to testify publicly in the Senate as early as next week to confirm bombshell accusations that President Donald Trump pressured him to end his investigation into a top Trump aide's ties to Russian Federation, a source close to the issue said Wednesday. While his departure day is still unknown, he resigned on May 18th in a private meeting with president Trump and offered to stay on until the President completed his first worldwide trip to ease the transition.

But the steady stream of palace intrigue stories about internal tensions and plans for a staff shakeup - after months of rumors about various senior officials getting pushed out - are making it harder to persuade people to join the administration, another White House official said.

Trump's chummy interchange with Russian officials in the White House, which could not have been more different than his awkward, frosty meetings with European allies.

White House communications director Michael Dubke announced his resignation this week and, amid reports of an imminent shake up, there has been much speculation about Spicer's future as press secretary.

U.S. President Donald Trump's communications director is leaving the job, the White House said on Tuesday, as the president considers wider staff changes to try to contain political damage from investigations into Russian Federation and his presidential campaign.

Separately, federal prosecutors pursuing a criminal investigation into Flynn have issued subpoenas to people and businesses who have done business with him seeking information, including bank records and communications, related to Flynn, the Flynn Intel Group and Invovo BV, a Dutch company owned by Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, according to a document reviewed by Reuters.

Another person whose name has been raised as a possible addition to the president's team is David Urban, a prominent Republican lobbyist, who also spent time advising Trump's campaign and has remained a trusted adviser. "And even though Jared Kushner isn't blood, he's pretty close to it". But just hours earlier, Mr. Trump posted a link on Twitter to a report on the "Fox & Friends" website based on an unnamed source seemingly meant to defend Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser. The intent was to connect Trump's chief national security adviser at the time, Michael Flynn, with Russian military leaders.

A senior administration official said Kushner was keeping his head down and focusing on work after the foreign trip.

"If you are speaking on an open line, then it's an open line, meaning those who have the ability to monitor those conversations are doing so", Derek Chollet, a former Pentagon adviser and National Security Council official told the AP, adding a president "doesn't carry with him a secure phone". By referring questions to outside lawyers, aides hope the focus can return to Trump's agenda.

It's an extraordinary step for the White House to suddenly farm out inquiries about a subject about which the president is publicly commenting on-and in this case, just hours beforehand. His last day has not yet been determined. Reince Priebus, his chief of staff, has too little power and must read constantly that his job is in jeopardy.

"Mike will assist with the transition and be a strong advocate for the president and the president's policies moving forward", he said.

Other reports by iNewsToday