Trump eyes a White House overhaul


US President Donald Trump is sticking by his son-in-law and White House confidant Jared Kushner.

"It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies", Trump tweeted.

U.S. 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.

Federal and congressional investigators are examining why Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, met with Sergey N. Gorkov, a Russian banker who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to The New York Times.

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Trump officials were preparing to establish a "war room" to address an issue that has begun to dominate his young presidency.

Intelligence experts say Russian Federation meddled in the election.

He declared his "total confidence" in Kushner, who boasts an enormous portfolio of domestic and global responsibilities, underscoring his importance as Trump's chief adviser despite having no experience in politics before the 2016 White House race.

"It's both normal, in my opinion, and acceptable", Kelly said.

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Without directly addressing the Post report, Trump defended Kushner in a statement to The New York Times published Sunday, saying he has "total confidence in him". Kushner spoke with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, about creating the secret line to make it easier to hold sensitive discussions about the conflict in Syria, according to a person familiar with the discussions. Some foreign affairs experts said the move, while former president Barack Obama had weeks left in his term, anxious them that it could undermine US security and some opposition Democrats have suggested that Kushner's security clearance should be revoked.

Gorkov is the head of Vnesheconombank, a state-owned Russian entity that is the subject of US government sanctions. Also present at the meeting was Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who is being investigated into whether he accepted money from foreign governments without the required approval.

The New York Times and Washington Post said he wanted to use Russian facilities to avoid USA interception of discussions with Moscow.

The President also has an unusual ally coming to his defense in former presidential rival Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. So if the leaks aren't real, if they're just made up by reporters, why did he have his press secretary go through the phones of all the White House staff?

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Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) cautioned against "hyperbole" in discussing Kushner's conversations with Kislyak. "They are not our friends".