Trump administration officials and several powerful Republican senators have rushed to the defense of White House adviser Jared Kushner over reports that he discussed establishing secure backchannel communications with Russia's government during the transition. They would have allegedly used Russian diplomatic facilities in order to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from being monitored.
Kushner is Trump's Orthodox Jewish son-in-law.
"I think he's going to continue to hold the line that he has, which is that it's fake news until somebody comes up with some evidence of some actual wrongdoing", Hemingway said.
An ongoing, permanent back-channel for communications was never discussed, only a one-time call, the source added.
The reporter said Spicer was attempting to discredit The Post's anonymous sources while Trump was promoting a Fox story based on a single anonymous source.
"I mean, you just have to assume, obviously, that what you're getting is - may or may not be true, they may be working you".
Speaking on ABC's This Week, Chief White House correspondent Jon Karl said there had been a lot of talk of a shake-up, now that Mr Trump had returned to Washington.
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Former director of national intelligence James Clapper said Kushner's links with Moscow "certainly arouses your concern about what is going on, given Russian Federation... is our primary adversary".
With the Trump administration enduring daily turmoil, one wonders how the president will deal with Kushner, a relative he can't throw under the bus, or can he? "As they begin to build their own situational awareness with Russian Federation in this case, I don't see an issue here".
Trump attacked the "fake news media" Sunday morning, describing White House "leaks" as "fabricated lies" and saying stories with "sources say" make it "very possible" those "sources don't exist" and are made up by "fake news writers".
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In talks with Kislyak in December, Kushner floated the possibility of setting up a secure line of communication between the Trump transition team and Russia - and having those talks take place in Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States, essentially concealing their interactions from U.S. government scrutiny. "If not then there's no way he can maintain that kind of a clearance". It was their first opportunity to question Spicer about a Washington Post report published late last week.
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee also said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin poses a bigger threat to national security than ISIS.