Close Trump adviser a 'significant person of interest' in probe

  • 20/05/2017

US President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is reportedly the senior advisor named a "significant person of interest" in the law enforcement investigation of possible ties between Mr Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.

The Washington Post initially reported the revelation, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Post said its sources would not further identify the official, who was described as a senior White House adviser who is close to Mr Trump.

However, a New York magazine journalist says he'd confirmed with four people it is Mr Kushner, the husband of Mr Trump's eldest daughter Ivanka.

"I am not speculating," he wrote on Twitter.

Mr Kushner, 36, has been tasked with a large number of roles within the White House, including brokering peace in the Middle East, undertaking some diplomatic duties, creating a strategy to tackle opiod abuse, building ties with Mexico and with China. 

Mr Trump's public approval has dropped to its lowest level since his inauguration, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday (US time), after Mr Trump was accused of mishandling classified information and meddling with an FBI investigation.

The May 14-18 opinion poll found that 38 percent of adults approved of Mr Trump while 56 percent disapproved. The remaining 6 percent had "mixed feelings".

Americans appear to have soured on Mr Trump after a tumultuous week in the White House during which the President fought back a steady drumbeat of critical news reports that ramped up concerns about his administration's ties to Russia.

The week started with revelations that Mr Trump shared highly classified information with Russian diplomats in a private meeting. That was followed by reports that former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, whom Trump recently fired, had written memos expressing concerns that the president had pressured him to stop investigating Mr Trump campaign ties to Russia.

Later in the week, the Justice Department appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to oversee an independent probe into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Mr Trump has denied colluding with the Russians and called ongoing efforts to investigate him a "witch hunt." No politician in history, he said, "has been treated worse or more unfairly".

While Mr Trump remains popular with members of his own party, many rank-and-file Republicans appear to have backed off their support for the President during the past week.

Among Republicans, 23 percent expressed disapproval of Mr Trump in the latest poll, up from 16 percent in the same poll last week. The decline in support from Republicans appears to be a primary reason why Mr Trump's overall approval rating is now at the lowest level since he took office.

Reuters