Frus­trated pres­i­dent bring­ing in lawyers, PR ex­perts to deal with Rus­sia probe

New Straits Times - - World -

PRES­I­DENT Don­ald Trump is as­sail­ing in­ter­nal leaks as he con­sid­ers an over­haul of his White House staff, and grap­ples with a bur­geon­ing cri­sis in­volv­ing al­leged Rus­sian med­dling in the 2016 cam­paign.

Frus­trated with what he views as his team’s in­abil­ity to push back against the drum­beat of new rev­e­la­tions, Trump is seek­ing ex­panded teams of lawyers and ex­pe­ri­enced pub­lic re­la­tions hands. While he has called his first trip abroad a “home run”, it was shad­owed by reports about Moscow’s in­ter­fer­ence and pos­si­ble im­proper deal­ings with the Trump cam­paign and as­so­ci­ates.

The lat­est reports hit close to the Oval Of­fice, al­leg­ing that Trump’s son-in-law and se­nior ad­viser Jared Kush­ner pro­posed se­cret back-chan­nel com­mu­ni­ca­tions with Rus­sia dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial tran­si­tion.

Trump struck back on Sun­day, af­ter main­tain­ing a lim­ited so­cial me­dia pres­ence through­out his nine-day trip. He un­leashed a flurry of tweets, lash­ing out at what he called the “fake news” me­dia.

He fo­cused heav­ily on leaks — both those com­ing out of the White House and an in­tel­li­gence leak blamed on Amer­i­cans about the deadly bomb­ing in Bri­tain.

On the bomb­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Trump wrote: “Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter May was very an­gry that the info the UK gave to US about Manch­ester was leaked.”

Trump also wrote that “many of the leaks com­ing out of the White House are fab­ri­cated lies”.

He said it was “very pos­si­ble that those sources don’t ex­ist but are made up by fake news writ­ers”.

Trump is ex­pected to de­liver re­marks at Ar­ling­ton Na­tional Ceme­tery on Me­mo­rial Day.

Trump’s long­time lawyer, Marc Ka­sowitz, has joined a still-form­ing le­gal team to help the pres­i­dent shoul­der the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Dur­ing the Mon­ica Lewin­sky in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the Clin­ton White House brought on a group of lawyers and cre­ated a sep­a­rate me­dia op­er­a­tion to han­dle in­ves­ti­ga­tion-re­lated in­quiries so they didn’t com­pletely sub­sume the pres­i­dent’s agenda.

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