TRUMP SLAMS LEAKS, MULLS STAFF OVERHAUL
Frustrated president bringing in lawyers, PR experts to deal with Russia probe
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.