Trump hits out at 'fake news' about son-in-law
WASHINGTON United States President Donald Trump dismissed many unidentified sources as phony and said leaks from the White House were "fake news", following reports his son-in-law Jared Kushner tried to set up a secret channel of communications with Moscow before Mr Trump took office.
Mr Trump returned to the White House after a nine-day trip to the Middle East and Europe that ended on Saturday to face more questions about alleged communications between Mr Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington.
"It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media," Mr Trump wrote in a series of Twitter posts on Sunday.
Shortly after the tweets, Mr Trump's Homeland Security Secretary, Mr John Kelly, made the rounds of Sunday television news shows to describe any so-called back channel communications, especially with Russia, as "a good thing".
The White House faces mounting questions about potential ties between Russia and Mr Trump's presidential campaign, which are also the subject of criminal and congressional investigations. Trump officials were preparing to establish a "war room" to address an issue that has begun to dominate his young presidency.
Mr Kushner, 36, who is married to Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka, had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador to the US during and after the 2016 presidential campaign, seven current and former US officials told Reuters.