Fresh from his travels, Trump rails on Twitter about 'fake news'

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The president's renewed attack on the media comes amid reports that his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner talked with the Russian ambassador in December about establishing a backchannel for communications.

US President Donald Trump has accused media outlets of "fabricating" much of the news they publish about the White House and inventing anonymous sources on which the reports are ostensibly based.

In a series of tweets, the Prez told his 30.8 million followers if they see the words "sources say" without mentioning names, it's possible the news story is fake.

The President, who significantly curtailed his presence on Twitter during his first worldwide tour - which took him to Saudi Arabia, Israel, The Vatican, Brussels and Sicily - could certainly be irritated at the revelations regarding Kushner published by The Washington Post last Friday in an article citing "US.officials briefed on intelligence reports".

Despite reports that the president is mulling yet another staff shake-up, the president remains defiant, insisting the fake news media is trying to muddy his message. Reports also say that Kushner proposed that a secret communications channel could be set up between the Trump transition team and Russian Federation.

White House officials defended the concept of secret communications channels without commenting specifically on the Kushner case.

According to the person familiar with the Kushner meeting, the Trump team eventually felt there was no need for a back channel once Rex Tillerson was confirmed as secretary of state on February 1.

"It's both normal, in my opinion, and acceptable", he said on ABC's "This Week" program.

"You've got the ambassador to Russian Federation reporting back to Moscow on an open channel", Graham said.

Mr Schiff was particularly concerned about a Washington Post report that the back channel would have been conducted at a Russian diplomatic facility to avoid monitoring in USA communications systems.

Schiff said he expected Kushner, who serves as an unpaid adviser to Trump, to appear before his committee and suggested his security clearance be reviewed.

Though he had not seen evidence of collusion when he stepped down on 20 January, Clapper said all the signs made an FBI investigation not only appropriate but necessary. "They are not our friends".