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Week in politics: Making sense of reports of Kushner-Russia ties, plus the chances of a staff shakeup at the White House

by AirTalk®

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Jared Kushner is seen at the Royal Court after US President Donald Trump received the Order of Abdulaziz al-Saud medal in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

All eyes are back on Washington D.C. as President Trump has returned from his nine-day trip overseas and as business picks back up following the Memorial Day holiday, Mr. Trump must return to the realities of being president.

This week, that means dealing with the continuation of the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the transition into the White House. The new wrinkles? A Washington Post story that came out Friday citing U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports who said that President Trump’s confidant and son-in-law Jared Kushner tried to set up a secret ‘back channel’ communication line with the Kremlin using Russian facilities. It was followed by a New York Times article alleging that he may have tried to do so through a well-connected Russian banker whose financial institution is under sanction by the U.S.

We’ve also learned that White House communications director Mike Dubke has announced he’ll leave the White House, which has some speculating it could be a sign of a larger staff shakeup to come.

Also on our docket this week, the future of U.S. involvement in the Paris Accord, reviewing the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of Republicans plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and a look ahead to whether Republicans will run to or from President Trump in the 2018 midterm elections.


Caroline Heldman, associate professor of politics at Occidental College and co-author of ‘Rethinking Madam President: Are We Ready for a Woman in the White House?’ (Lynne Rienner Pub, 2007)

Jack Pitney, professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College

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