Trump, to impeach or not to impeach. Why Do Republicans bother lying?
U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday attacked news reports based on unidentified sources as phony and dismissed leaks from the White House as "fake news," following reports his son-in-law tried to set up a secret channel of communications with Moscow before Trump took office.
Trump returned to the White House after a nine-day trip to the Middle East and Europe that ended on Saturday to face more questions about alleged communications between Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington.
"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 wrote in a series of Twitter posts on Sunday.
Shortly after the tweets, Trump's Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, made the rounds of Sunday television news shows to praise any so-called back channel communications, especially with Russia, as "a good thing."
The White House faces mounting questions about potential ties between Russia and Trump's presidential campaign, which are also the subject of criminal and congressional investigations. Trump officials were preparing to establish a "war room" to address an issue that has begun to dominate his young presidency.
Two Republican U.S. senators played down the Kushner reports on Sunday, while the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, took a darker view of such contacts with representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Whenever you see the words 'sources say' in the fake news media, and they don't mention names," Trump wrote, "it is very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy!"