White House rejects request for Trump, Putin communications

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The Post reported in November that Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails in 2017 to White House aides, Cabinet officials and her assistants using a personal account, many of them in violation of federal records rules.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment. In the letter addressed to Cummings, Lowell disputed some of Cummings' assertions, saying the congressman's letter is "not completely accurate about what was said".

Asked how Kushner, Ivanka Trump's husband, preserved his communications, as required by law, Lowell said he took "screen shots" of them and forwarded them to his official email account or to the National Security Council. He also said he told Cummings and then-House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, who was also in the December meeting, that he was not familiar with the details of Kushner's use of the messaging application and referred them to the White House counsel.

In a statement Thursday, White House deputy press secretary Steven Groves said the White House will review Cummings' letter and "provide a reasonable response in due course".

In his letter to the White House, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the chair of the committee, requested documents and information relating to the Trump White House's use of nongovernmental channels.

"If you continue to withhold these documents from the committee, we will be forced to consider alternative means to obtain compliance", Cummings said. Lowell said he was referring to Trump's email use before September 2017 and that he told committee staff that now "she always forwards official business to her White House account".

The use of messaging services such as WhatsApp could run afoul of White House policy and the Presidential Records Act, which prohibits White House officials from sending a record "using a nonofficial electronic message account" unless the messages are copied to an official account within 20 days.

The chairman also wrote that his committee has obtained new information about other White House officials that raises additional security and federal records concerns about the use of private email and messaging applications.

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Cummings said that the White House had not followed through with a briefing on this matter that they had promised him, and had not produced "a single piece of paper to the Committee.in this or any other investigation" since Democrats took over the majority in the House.

The White House rejected a request from Congressional Democrats for a slew of documents related to President Donald Trump's phone calls and meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bannon also received a January 29, 2017, email from Barrack that Cummings said was a pitch of the plan sent to inform "Bannon's official work relating to developing 'broader Middle East policy'".

"The president must be free to engage in discussions with foreign leaders without fear that those communications will be disclosed and used as fodder for partisan political objective", Cipollone wrote.

"The White House has received Chairman Cummings' letter of March 21st".

"It is settled law that the Constitution entrusts the conduct of foreign relations exclusively to the Executive Branch, as it makes the President 'the sole organ of the federal government in the field of global relations, '" Cipollone wrote.

Regarding Mr Trump's communications with Mr Putin, Mr Cummings, House Intelligence chairman Adam Schiff and Foreign Affairs chairman Eliot Engel say they are examining the substance of in-person meetings and phone calls, the effects on foreign policy, and whether anyone has sought to hide those communications.

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