Kellyanne Conway Addresses Kushner Reports: Backchannels Are 'Regular Course of Business'

Pierre Vaugeois
Mai 31, 2017

A Washington Post report alleging that Jared Kushner was seeking to open a secure, private line with Russian Federation is false, a source familiar with the matter has told Fox News.

And while it's not weird for presidential campaigns to meet with foreign officials, under this context, it was.

Mr Kushner, who is married to Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka, had contact with Moscow in December about opening a secret backchannel of communications, according to news reports published while Mr Trump was away on his trip.

But Michael Warren of The Weekly Standard said his White House sources make it clear that while Kushner is on solid ground with the boss, and likely has more leeway than most, there are always limits.

President Trump released a statement to The New York Times on Sunday, offering praise for his son-in-law.

Now, Kushner's work on White House crisis management includes his own problems.

Mr Kelly, the homeland security secretary, carried the same message on Sunday.

British Airways said it was hoping to operate a near-normal schedule of flights from Gatwick, London's other major airport, and the majority of its Heathrow services. "Any way that you can communicate with people, particularly organizations that are maybe not particularly friendly to us, is a good thing".

The Fox News source, however, said that at a December meeting in Trump Tower, it was the Russians who brought up the possibility of a "secure line between the Trump administration and Russia" to discuss the Syrian civil war. "If not, then there's no way he can maintain that kind of a clearance". But Kelly said such back-channel communications don't bother him and would not be harmful to US security interests.

"I do think there ought to be a review of his security clearance to find out whether he was truthful, whether he was candid", Schiff said.

Jared Kushner is understood to be under scrutiny by the FBI as part of its wider investigation into Russian links.

It's been just a few days since news surfaced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the role Kushner held during the campaign and transition, including his contacts with Russian officials, his role in the campaign's data analytics operation, and his relationship with former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham told CNN he doubted the Kushner reports were accurate.

Schiff said he "fully" expects that the committee will want Kushner.

"I'll ask Sean to cover that later", McMaster said.

Former director of national intelligence James Clapper took a darker view of contacts with representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kushner was also seen as more internationalist than Bannon, who fueled Trump's more isolationist instincts on trade and immigration.

"Russia, at least for my money, is our primary adversary", he told NBC. They're staying put but have previously told friends they will continue to evaluate and reassess whether they plan to stay in Washington. "They are in to do us in".

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