White House pushes back on Russia allegations

White House officials downplay allegations that Trump son-in-law attempted to set up back channel communications with Russia prior to inauguration.

(NBC News) Facing cameras for the first time in nearly two weeks Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer returned to a slew of questions, with Russia topping the list.

Spicer pushed back against allegations, but did not deny, that President Trump’s son-in-law and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner tried to set up back channel communications with Russia for private communication.

“There’s a lot of this stuff that has gotten pushed out based on unnamed, unacountable sources, it’s very troubling,” Spicer said.

On Twitter, the president said “Russian officials must be laughing at the U.S. – and how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election – has taken over the fake news.”

“I think that’s right, but they’re laughing at how easy it is, and how our president, unfortunately, is helping with their agenda,” says former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.

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