Pay close attention… and you’ll see a system in peril
If you thought the holiday weekend means you can look forward to a quiet week in Washington, think again. The rats are always stirring– and they become even more active when the rest of us aren’t paying attention. Here’s what you need to know.
The Hill on Sunday reported that President Trump believes every bad story is the product of fake news– because fake news hates his tweets:
President Trump tweeted several times Sunday evening, attacking the “Fake News Media” for criticizing his social media habits.
“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!” he tweeted.
Trump tweeted about healthcare and tax reform on Sunday night. “I suggest that we add more dollars to Healthcare and make it the best anywhere. ObamaCare is dead – the Republicans will do much better!” he wrote.
Eliminating leaks. the president said, is a top priority.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
Back on American soil from his first foreign trip, President Trump on Sunday held meetings that could shake up White House operations and released a flurry of Twitter posts dismissing White House leaks as “fake news.”
His remarks were the first time he had weighed in since reports surfaced that his top adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had considered setting up a secret communications line with Russia during the presidential…
Meanwhile, Trump and top Republicans pushed back against the idea that top presidential adviser Jared Kushner could have ulterior motives.
Trump attacked the news media on Twitter, and the administration dispatched a retired four-star Marine general — Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly — to defend Kushner on the Sunday news talk shows.
“It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media,” Trump said on Twitter — a likely reference to The Washington Post’s story about Kushner on Friday, which was sourced to anonymous U.S. officials. The article said Kushner sought to set up a secret line of communication with Russia during the presidential transition.
Trump also leaned on two administration officials with military experience to defend Kushner, who has become a significant person of interest in the FBI’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow in its efforts to sway the presidential election toward Trump.
“I don’t see a big deal,” Kelly, the former head of U.S. Southern Command, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think any channel of communication, back or otherwise, with a country like Russia is a good thing.”
Trump national security adviser H.R. McMaster, a three-star Army general, also defended Kushner, telling reporters that back-channel communications are normal, according to Reuters.
“We have back-channel communications with any number of individual” countries, McMaster said. “So generally speaking, about back-channel communications, what that allows you to do is communicate in a discreet manner.”
Republicans, meanwhile, downplayed the reports about Kushner — with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) joining Trump in casting doubt on the news media.