After ‘successful’ world trip, Trump returns to US — and he’s furious with media over new reports

After ‘successful’ world trip, Trump returns to US — and he’s furious with media over new reports
Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool/Getty Images

After a nine-day global trip—one President Donald Trump called a “great success”—in which the Trump administration finalized a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, was praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and met with G7 leaders to discuss everything from global trade to climate change, Trump returned to the United States on Saturday to a White House still embroiled in controversy.

The latest allegation made against the Trump administration stems from a report by the Washington Post claiming Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a top adviser, secretly attempted to set up a private communications channel with Russian leaders in December.

The report, which was based on information provided by anonymous U.S. sources, claimed American officials intercepted messages sent between Russian operatives discussing Kushner’s alleged attempt to create back-channel communications. According to the sources, Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, discussed Kushner’s proposal with his superiors, and it’s a discussion over that conversation that the intercepted communications between other Russian operatives allegedly captured.

The Trump administration initially chose not to offer an official response about the report, prompting many in the media to suggest there might be some truth to the claim. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, told reporters at the G7 Summit he wasn’t concerned about the allegation, although he didn’t say whether it was true or not.

“We have back-channel communications with any number of individual (countries),” McMaster said, according to a Reuters report. “So, generally speaking, about back-channel communications, what that allows you to do is communicate in a discreet manner … we’re not concerned about it.”

In a series of tweets posted on Sunday morning, Trump slammed the media for its “fake reporting.”

“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.

“Whenever you see the words ‘sources say’ in the fake news media, and they don’t mention names …. it is very possible that those sources don’t exist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy!”

Trump later said on Twitter U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May was “very angry” over U.S. intelligence leaks linked to the May 22 suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

“British Prime Minister May was very angry that the info the U.K. gave to U.S. about Manchester was leaked. Gave me full details!” Trump wrote.

On Thursday, U.K. officials temporarily suspended intelligence sharing with U.S. agencies after details about the terror investigation were leaked to the press.

On Friday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States takes “full responsibility” for the leaks.

“We take full responsibility for that and we obviously regret that that happened,” Tillerson said, according to a Reuters report. “With respect to the release of information inappropriately … certainly we condemn that.”

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported a Trump administration aide revealed a team of lawyers would “vet” future tweets to ensure the president doesn’t say something illegal or create another potential scandal.

The White House source told the Wall Street Journal administration staffers wanted to create a system to limit Trump’s Twitter autonomy so that his tweets “don’t go from the president’s mind out to the universe.”

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