Three lawmakers question Kushner Cos on concerns over White House tie

AP Explains Kushner and the back story of back channels

Three Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to the president of Kushner Companies on Thursday seeking information related to concerns that the real estate firm has exploited Jared Kushner's role as a White House adviser to attract investment through a federal immigration program.

Backchannels, or secret lines of communication, are often used by the White House as diplomatic tools.

"Our job, we are focused on the president's agenda", Spicer said in a 12-minute, off-camera press gaggle, adding that "going forward", Kasowitz will answer any press questions about the Russian Federation investigation.

"I've made it clear that I want this president's agenda to get done, which is tax reform and healthcare reform and all the things that he pledged during the campaign that he gets to execute", Lewandowski told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program.

Reviews were mixed for Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy press secretary who has filled in for Spicer at White House press briefings a few times.

Trump plans to bring in new aides to the White House, adding experienced political professionals including a former campaign manager, according to administration officials and people close to the president. In fact, if a new CNN report is to be believed (and it is, because it's a real news organization despite what both Donald Trump and Jeff Zucker say), Trump's hurricane of scandals has left him a broken man.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (fook SOO-an nuh-WEE-ihn) is the first leader to visit the Trump White House from Southeast Asia, where the USA vies with China for influence.




The White House's troubles make "what was already really hard even harder", said Stier from the Partnership for Public Service.

Kellyanne Conway, White House counselor, has told The Associated Press that Dubke handed in his resignation before President Donald Trump left for his worldwide trip earlier this month.

A president "doesn't carry with him a secure phone", Chollet said.

Trump retained Kasowitz, who previously served as his personal lawyer, last week after former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to lead the investigation which has built in intensity since Comey's firing.

"It's rather astonishing that he was seeking a back channel to Putin's team as a way to avoid US intelligence interception", Raskin told Bethesda Beat Tuesday. "It's very important to know that I can be helpful on the outside; if they want me to help on the inside and the right role is there, I'd be willing to consider that".

Dubke is the latest White House staffer to leave the administration as scrutiny intensifies over contacts Trump staffers may have had with Russian government officials during the campaign and transition.

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