U.S. President Donald Trump and President Emmanuel Macron of France (White House)
Amid growing probes into Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election, President Donald Trump is giving his cell phone number to world leaders and urging them to call him directly. This breaks with diplomatic protocol. It also raises concerns about the security and secrecy of his communications. Presidents generally place calls to foreign leaders on one of several secure phone lines.
Trump's personal attorney is now part of an expanding congressional investigation into Russian efforts to influence the election. Michael Cohen is considered to be one of Trump's closest confidantes. Cohen told ABC News that he has been asked by both House and Senate intelligence committees to provide information and testimony about the contacts he had with Russian officials. Cohen told ABC he turned down those invitations. Fox News has learned Cohen has now been issued a subpoena.
All this comes as Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is under FBI scrutiny. Investigators are interested in what went on during a December meeting between Kushner and a Russian banker whose financial institution was deeply intertwined with Russian intelligence. They also want to know whether Kushner tried to establish a secret channel of communication with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Mr. Kushner's attorney has said that Mr. Kushner has volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about the meetings," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
Trump responded to these daily headlines using Twitter.
"Russian officials must be laughing at the U.S. & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News," he tweeted.
"The reason that the president is frustrated is because there's a perpetuation of false narratives, a use of unnamed sources over and over again about things that are happening that don't ultimately happen, and I think that is troubling," Spicer said.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn will reportedly hand over records from two of his businesses to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Flynn was fired as national security adviser in February. He rejected an initial subpoena from the committee by invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.