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 Russian Federation - a bombshell allegation the U.S. president swatted down as 'fabricated'. But in remarks earlier in the weekend, before leaving Sicily, she told reporters that the discussion with him on climate change, in particular, had been "extremely hard, indeed unsatisfying". Air Force One touched down at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland just before 9pm.
But a former head of the US National Security Agency harshly condemned Kushner's alleged effort to set up a secret communications line, saying if it is true, it would reveal a risky degree of ignorance or naivete.
A rally planned for Thursday in Iowa was postponed due to "an unforeseen change" in Mr Trump's schedule. Trump, who had been uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter during his nine-day trip overseas, resumed his favorite pastime with fury on Sunday, dismissing allegations of Russian Federation ties as "fake news" and "fabricated lies". "It's bad for the prospects of calm at the White House".
Kelly also echoed Trump's aggressive posture against leaks, calling US officials' disclosure of information about last week's bombing in Manchester, England, "darn close to treason". "Gave me full details!"
Trump did not come out directly and defend Kushner, but decried what he called the "fake news media" in a series of tweets earlier Sunday. "Fake News is the enemy", Mr. Trump said, as he took aim at the news media.
He said that Kushner's contacts with the Russians, if true, present "a real problem" in whether President Trump's son-in-law should be trusted. Media reports revealed the meeting, along with another private session Kushner had with a representative of a Russian bank.
According to anonymous sources speaking to The New York Times, Trump's aides are preparing a staff shakeup, including building "war room" of communications specialists and lawyers in order to deal with damaging revelations more effectively.
During the Monica Lewinsky investigation, the Clinton White House brought on a dedicated group of lawyers and a created a separate media operation to handle investigation-related inquiries so they didn't completely subsume the president's agenda.
Perhaps the person who has profited the most from the phenomenon of "fake news" is Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America.More news: British Columbia Greens, NDP to make announcement on province's govt
Beyond security concerns, a proposed back channel would have been a breach of democratic protocol, said Eliot Cohen, a former counselor to President George W. Bush's State Department.
Lewandowski's return would be notable, given the fact that he was sacked by Trump after clashing with staff and Trump's adult children.
It was a familiar morning for Trump on his favored medium - and for a nation that had, for a little more than a week, gone without the president's stream-of-consciousness missives.
Seemingly unable to control the leaks within his own White House, Mr. Trump has become increasingly frustrated.
While there have been many allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election that helped Donald Trump win, the investigation into these allegations is ongoing, and an official finding as to whether or not it happened has not yet been reached.
The conversation between Mr. Kushner and the Ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, took place during a meeting at Trump Tower that Trump's presidential transition team did not acknowledge at the time. "We are and remain close partners", she said of the USA and Germany, "but we also know that we Europeans really must take our destiny into our own hands".
Michael Flynn (l.) and Jared Kushner in the White House on February 13, 2017.
"If you're going to create a back channel that relies exclusively on the Russian communications and apparatus, that's a really serious issue", added Mark Lowenthal, a former Central Intelligence Agency assistant director. He has signaled he will soon make a decision on whether to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. And the search continues for an Federal Bureau of Investigation director to replace Comey.
It started about 8 a.m. Sunday, with a somewhat delayed celebration of Greg Gianforte's victory in Montana's special congressional election - despite facing assault charges for allegedly attacking a reporter who'd asked him about the GOP's health-care bill.