A White House in crisis scrambled to allay public concern over reports that Donald Trump’s son-in-law sought a secret communications link to Russia — a bombshell allegation the US president swatted down as “fabricated.”
After returning late Saturday from his first foreign trip as president, Trump geared up to combat concerns over his advisers’ ties to Russia, including explosive reports about Jared Kushner, his indispensable aide-de-camp.
Trump was meeting with attorneys at the White House on Sunday, presumably over the latest development in the long-running Russia intelligence saga, news reports said.
US media said the White House is creating a new rapid-fire communications unit to respond to the controversy, led by Kushner, senior presidential adviser Steve Bannon and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
Trump, who had been uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter during his nine-day trip abroad, resumed his favourite pastime with fury on Sunday, dismissing allegations of Russia ties as “fake news” and “fabricated lies.”
“It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the ‘FakeNews’ media,” he wrote.
“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. #FakeNews is the enemy!” the US leader wrote, spelling errors and all.
In yet another tweet, amid criticism of his frequent Twitter rants, Trump wrote: “the Fake News Media works hard at disparaging & demeaning my use of social media because they don’t want America to hear the real story!”