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Senior Democrat links Kushner’s secretive Whatsapp to previous plan to set up back-channel communications with Kremlin

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Appearing with CNN’s Erin Burnett, a Democratic House Judiciary Committee member lashed out at White House adviser Jared Kushner for using an unsecured app that eliminates messages — saying it was reminiscent of reports that Kushner tried to set up a secret back-channel with the Kremlin after the 2016 election.

Asked about the latest report, which Kushner’s own lawyer confirmed, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) called the news very concerning and suspicious.

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“This is very likely a violation of the Presidential Records Act,” Cicilline explained. “We should remember Jared Kushner was alleged to have attempted to set up a back-channel communications with the Russians during the transition, if you remember that reporting.”

“Both Jared and Ivanka [Trump] were denied — or serious questions were raised — by intelligence and law enforcement about their security clearance. The president overruled those objections and directed they be given and then lied about it.”

“This is very concerning — not only is it potentially a violation of the Records Act but also raises questions what is he communicating about, and why does it need to be kept a secret?” he continued. “What are these communications about, and why is he concerned they not be shared in normal communication channels? The Oversight Committee has to figure out what’s going on and make sure this practice ends and make sure the national security of the united states has not been compromised in this process.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘Hypocritical’ Republicans busted for disappearing now that Trump has exploded the deficit

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In a "Reality Check" segment on CNN on Thursday morning, contributor John Avlon called out GOP fiscal hawks who have suddenly disappeared from the public square now that a Republican president has exploded the national debt.

Introduced by host John Berman, who asked, "This morning new numbers from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirm it: The national debt and deficit are much worse than thought. So where is the party of fiscal responsibility in times like these?" Avlon broke it down.

"While President Trump was busy proclaiming himself 'the chosen one,' you might have missed more bad news in the form of data," Avlon smirked. "Brand new CBO numbers shows the budget deficit is skyrocketing, projected to rise 25 percent over last year and heading to over $1 trillion next year. Tax revenues are $430 billion below where they were expected to be before the Trump tax cuts while spending in is in drunken sailor territory adding $1.7 trillion in the next decade."

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‘Something wrong’ with Trump’s mental health — and he needs an ‘intervention’: Dem lawmaker

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Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) told CNN's John Berman that President Donald Trump's mental health should be a cause of deep concern for all Americans.

In particular, Deutch pointed to Trump's string of strange statements on Wednesday, in which he favorably quoted someone who called him "The Second Coming of God" and then flat-out referred to himself as "The Chosen One."

"If you or I had an uncle who went on social media and started making claims or tweeting claims about being the 'King of Israel' and the 'Second Coming; and then went out into public and talked about being the 'Chosen One,' you know what we would do?" he asked rhetorically. "We would gather our family members and figure out how to have an intervention because there's something clearly wrong there."

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Tea Party ex-lawmaker admits he was wrong about Obama — calls him a much better president than Trump

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Sidestepping questions over whether he will primary Donald Trump, former Tea Party Republican lawmaker Joe Walsh launched a brutal attack on the president comparing him unfavorably to one of his previous foes: President Barack Obama.

Speaking with CNN hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, the former Illinois congressman refused to commit to running but sketched out what any GOP candidates running against the embattled president must do to have a chance to rally disaffected Republican voters.

"I think we overanalyze Trump, "Walsh began. "He's not complicated, he's a horrible human being. He's a bad, bad guy."

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