Charles Krauthammer on Jared Kushner-Russia Reports: ‘I Don’t Trust This Story’

On Fox News’ Special Report tonight, Charles Krauthammer sided with Lindsey Graham‘s serious skepticism with the reporting about Jared Kushner allegedly wanting to set up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin. “I don’t trust this story,” he said. “The Russians are leaking it clearly on a channel they know we’re gonna pick up. The Russians are masters of disinformation.” If it is true, Krauthammer added, “it occurred after the campaign, during the transition. So unless there’s some nefarious connection here, there’s no connection to what was alleged to have happened during the campaign.” He doesn’t see the crime here, just that this is “another piece that has Russia in the headline, Trump people in the headline, and thus is supposed to be scandalous.” Watch above, via Fox News. [image via screengrab] — — Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

Democratic Rep.: If Jared Kushner Can’t Handle His Job, He Should ‘Go Back to Doing Real Estate’

Congressman Ruben Gallego (D- AZ) has become the latest Democrat to say Jared Kushner should lose his security clearance. He told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room today, regarding the reports that Kushner wanted a secret communications channel with the Kremlin, that “it really questions whether this man should have security clearance and, in my opinion, he’s not acting like a responsible adult and he should not have security clearance at this point.” And the House Armed Services Committee member even said that Kushner may be a “liability” and he needs to do a lot of thinking about the responsibility he holds:
“He needs to realize that this is the grown-up world now. If he cannot handle his job, he needs to turn in his security clearance and go back to doing real estate in New York City.”
In a statement last night President Trump said Continue reading "Democratic Rep.: If Jared Kushner Can’t Handle His Job, He Should ‘Go Back to Doing Real Estate’"

Eric Trump: Russia Controversy Is ‘A Total Hoax’

Eric Trump spoke to Fox News’ Jesse Watters in an interview that aired tonight and said that all the talk about Russia is “a total hoax.” Watters said that despite his dad’s successes, “the media keeps harping on Russia, Russia, Russia.” So, the Fox Newser asked, “What’s he gonna do to neutralize that?” Trump dismissed all of this as “nonsense” and a “witch hunt,” even citing his father’s decision to strike Syria as evidence. “There’s some pretty disappointed people out there,” he told Watters, “so they want to further a narrative for their own political agenda. And I really believe that they would rather see this country fail than see him succeed.” Watters said, “So the Russia thing’s a hoax.” Trump said, “It’s a total hoax.” (His father used the same word in March.) The Continue reading "Eric Trump: Russia Controversy Is ‘A Total Hoax’"

White House Adds Name of Luxembourg’s Gay First Gentleman to Caption After Online Outrage

The White House has added the name of the First Gentleman of Luxembourg to a photo caption after online backlash to his name not being included. This was the official photo posted to the White House Facebook page earlier today: melania spouses The photo was taken at the NATO conference in Brussels, and it included Gauthier Destenay, the spouse of Xavier Bettel, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg. The initial caption read thusly:
First Lady Melania Trump poses with Belgium’s Queen Mathilde, center, and other spouses of NATO leaders: First Lady Emine Erdoğan of Turkey; Iceland’s Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir; the First Lady of France Brigitte Trogneux; First Lady Melania Trump; Slovenia’s Mojca Stropnik; Bulgaria’s Desislava Radeva; Belgium’s Amélie Derbaudrenghien, and Norway’s Ingrid Schulerud, during their visit Thursday, May 25, 2917, at the Royal Palace in Brussels. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
But Destenay’s name is left out of that,
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‘Is This a Prank?’ Fmr. Acting CIA Director Reacts to Jared Kushner-Russia Report

John McLaughlin, former acting director of the CIA, told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell last night what he believes the agency’s reaction would be to the report that Jared Kushner wanted to set up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin:
“If that’s what it was, the first reaction would be ‘Is this a prank?’ It would be kind of disbelief because it’s not the sort of thing you would expect to happen in a normal transition.”
He said this is “simultaneously familiar and bizarre” and concluded that there is a lot we don’t know, but added, “I can’t keep out of my mind the thought that if an American intelligence officer had done anything like this, we’d consider it espionage.” MSNBC contributor and terrorism analyst Malcolm Nance also said last night, “If this is true that he wanted covert communications with the Russians using Russian Continue reading "‘Is This a Prank?’ Fmr. Acting CIA Director Reacts to Jared Kushner-Russia Report"

Jared and Ivanka Reportedly Plan to ‘Review Every Six Months’ Whether to Go Back to Private Life

jared ivanka Big new reports this week have put the spotlight on Jared Kushner, senior White House advisor and son-in-law to President Trump. Just last night the political world was set ablaze by reporting that Kushner may have talked to the Russian ambassador about setting up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin. Michael Hayden, former head of the NSA and CIA, said this morning that such a request would illustrate “ignorance, chaos, hubris, suspicion, [and] contempt.” And while this is yet more bad news for the Trump White House, a report from Politico today says that within those walls, “there is a feeling of resentment among people about Kushner’s special status as a family member, and a feeling that it’s about time for him to have a turn under the gun.” And then there’s the question of how long he will remain in the White House. The Continue reading "Jared and Ivanka Reportedly Plan to ‘Review Every Six Months’ Whether to Go Back to Private Life"

Mattis: Trump’s Message to NATO Is ‘Consistent’ with Previous Presidents

Defense Secretary James Mattis says that the message President Trump has about NATO has been “consistent” with his predecessors. Trump’s speech this week talked about how “NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations, for 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense.” He was also criticized for not publicly standing by Article 5––”an attack on one is an attack on all”––in his remarks. Mattis sat down with CBS’ John Dickerson for an interview on Face the Nation, and in a preview released tonight, Dickerson asked if he’s worried about Trump’s call for NATO members to pay up potentially backfiring. “Having been a NATO officer, under President Bush and President Obama,” Mattis responded, “and then having been back there in Brussels representing the Department of Defense Continue reading "Mattis: Trump’s Message to NATO Is ‘Consistent’ with Previous Presidents"