Jared Kushner has become the subject of swirling rumors that he may be the White House official identified as a person of interest in an ongoing criminal probe of the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russia to influence the election.
The White House has confirmed that Kushner had contacts with Russia, according to a Washington Post reporter.
The White House has acknowledged that Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner had contacts with Russian officials. https://t.co/FXukIjmR5r
— Greg Miller (@gregpmiller) May 19, 2017
But they have not addressed if Kushner is the person of interest. One journalist claimed on Twitter that "four sources" told them it is indeed Kushner.
— Yashar (@yashar) May 19, 2017
Meanwhile, CNN reported that White House lawyers are researching impeachment in anticipation of the possible ousting of Trump.
The independent investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia has yielded a person of interest — a current White House official.
A senior White House advisor has been identified as a "significant person of interest," the Washington Post reported, but the person has not yet been identified.
The “more overtly active” probe is reaching the “highest levels of government,” the report said.
Sources told the Post that the investigation is expected to pick up steam in the coming weeks, but stressed that it focuses on influential players during Trump’s campaign that are no longer part of his team, such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Current administration officials who have acknowledged contacts with Russian officials include President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
On Wednesday, the deputy attorney general appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel.
Mueller said in a statement tweeted by CBS News: "I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability."
Trump, who said in a speech earlier that day that no politician in history "has been treated worse or more unfairly," has long bristled at the notion that Russia played any role in his election victory.
The Russia issue has, however, clouded his early months in office. Moscow has denied the conclusion by U.S. intelligence agencies that it meddled in the campaign.
Pressure on the White House intensified after Trump fired Comey, who had been leading a federal probe into the matter, and allegations that Trump had asked Comey to end the FBI investigation into ties between Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russia. That raised questions about whether the president improperly attempted to interfere with a federal investigation.
The issue spilled over onto Wall Street on Wednesday, where the S&P 500 and the Dow had their biggest one-day declines since September as investor hopes for tax cuts and other pro-business policies faded amid the political tumult. The Justice Department announcement came after the market close.
Public approval of Trump has dropped to its lowest level since his inauguration, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.
The May 14-18 opinion poll found that 38 percent of adults approved of Trump while 56 percent disapproved. The remaining 6 percent had "mixed feelings."
Reuters contributed to this report.