McMaster: We are not worried about 'back channel'

Claudine Rigal
Mai 29, 2017

Kushner's involvement in the proposed back channel was first reported by The Washington Post, which said he proposed using Russian diplomatic facilities for the discussions, apparently to make them more hard to monitor.

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee is urging a review of White House adviser Jared Kushner's security clearance following news reports that he sought to set up back-channel communications with Russian Federation.

Federal investigators and several congressional committees are looking into Russia-Trump campaign connections.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, has requested information and documents from Trump's campaign, the AP confirmed.

Ivanka Trump may not last in Washington, D.C., according to new reports.

And his Homeland Security head defended the idea of establishing that kind of communication as a "smart thing" and said he didn't see "any big issue here" for Kushner.

The latest reports says Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner proposed a secret back channel between the Kremlin and the Trump transition team.

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the National Security Adviser, on Saturday declined to say whether he would be concerned if a private citizen attempted to set up back-channel communications with a foreign government to influence U.S. foreign policy and said he would not be concerned if a White House official attempted to do so, reports CNN.

The channel was never set up.

Trump meting with attorneys at the White House on Sunday, presumably over the latest development in the long-running Russian Federation intelligence saga, news reports said.

Another potential line of inquiry could concern Kushner's failure to disclose some of his contacts with Russian government officials when he was filling out his application for a security clearance. He added: "It allows you to communicate in a discreet manner". "I would not be concerned about it". "I will tell you that my dashboard warning light was clearly on, and I think that was the case with all of us in the intelligence community", Clapper said Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press".

He added: "Ultimately we're going to want Mr Kushner to come before the committee and I fully expect that to happen".

In another development, The New York Times reported Friday that Oleg Deripaska, a Russian once close to Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, has offered to cooperate with congressional bodies probing alleged Russian election meddling.

Aides have recruited prominent Washington lawyers with experience in political investigations for Trump to interview in hopes that they might join the legal team.

Following a 10-day worldwide trip that included a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump returned to Washington on Saturday amid swirling controversies centering on numerous fronts.

Kushner's new relevance in the investigation is only one facet of the struggles facing the administration.

Kushner is squarely in the middle of an FBI investigation involving his communications with Russian operatives.

Separately, amid the mounting questions about Russian Federation, three members of Trump's family - his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., and Eric's wife, Lara - were said to have met privately with GOP leaders to share their concerns.

After fleeing his in-laws' house, Godbolt killed four more people at two other homes, authorities said.

Their appearance at the RNC irked at least two prominent Republicans who were briefed on the session. Reuters previously reported only Flynn's involvement in those discussions.

White House officials are also trying to find ways to revive Trump's stalled policy agenda in Congress and to more broadly overhaul the way the White House communicates with the public.

New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro said its unfortunate that the president's performance during the trip wasn't getting more news coverage. It is also not clear whether Kushner engaged with Kislyak on his own or with other Trump aides.

Underscoring the uncertainty of what lies ahead, some Trump associates said there have been conversations about dispatching Priebus to serve as ambassador to Greece - his mother is of Greek descent - as a face-saving way to remove him from the White House. "They are in to do us in". The six other nations in the Group of 7 reaffirmed their commitment to cutting greenhouse-gas emissions in a joint statement issued on Saturday.

Associated Press writers Eileen Sullivan, Julie Bykowicz, Chad Day and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

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