Not going to comment on Kushner: Trump's NSA

Speaking generally, national security adviser HR McMaster said "we have back channel communications with a number of countries..."

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Sunday brushed off reported attempts by President Trump's son-in-law to set up a back channel communication with Russian Federation as no big deal.

Trump returned late Saturday from his first worldwide trip as U.S. president, geared up to combat concerns over aides' ties to Russian Federation including explosive reports that his son-in-law Jared Kushner sought a secret communications line with Moscow. McMaster added that secret diplomatic communication lines allow conversations to unfold in a "discreet manner".

"We're just not going to", Trump's top economic adviser Gary Cohn said of Kushner, who'd been on the trip but returned home as planned after participating in Trump's visit to the Vatican.

The idea to set up this secret channel of communications was discussed at Trump Tower during a meeting between Kushner, Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and Michael Flynn, who later became National Security Adviser before he was sacked.

You can listen to McMaster's remarks above, via MSNBC. But it is unclear why the Russian ambassador would misreport his conversations to his own people, particularly at a time when the Kremlin still saw the prospect of dramatically improved relations with Mr Trump.

The DNC, not needing any evidence of wrongdoing beyond anonymously-sourced reports and assumptions of bad intentions, has called for Trump to fire Kushner immediately.

Kushner initially had come to the attention of FBI investigators a year ago as they began scrutinizing former national security adviser Michael Flynn's connections with Russian officials, the two sources told Reuters.

Gorelick did not address the allegation that Kushner wanted to create a back channel for communications, and the White House has not addressed the newest reports. And less than two weeks later, the idea was dropped, said the report. Lawyers for Kushner said he was willing to talk with federal and congressional investigators about his foreign contacts and his work on the Trump campaign.

Kushner is Donald Trump's son-in-law and a trusted adviser to the president.

Mr Kushner reportedly took part in discussions about a backchannel with Russia's ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, in December.

Corker said it appears, based on the recent reports, that Kushner is not a "target".

In addition, Reuters reported that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak past year, including two phone calls between April and November. At these calls, Kislyak didn't just discuss security issues like Syria but also the need to improve relations between Russian Federation and the United States following the sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama. "Unthinkable Kushner could stay in the White House".

Upon Trump's return, the administration will add experienced political professionals, including Trump's former campaign manager, and possibly more lawyers to handle the Russian Federation probe, which has gained new urgency since the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to head the investigation, the sources said.

"Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings", Gorelick said in a statement Thursday.

Among other changes on the agenda of the USA administration is an increase in Trump's campaign-style rallies through the United States in order improve the president's connections with supporters and a less public role for the White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

"This one incident requires Jared Kushner and all of his immediate staff to have their clearances pulled right now and to have the Federal Bureau of Investigation descend on there and to determine whether this is hostile intelligence in the White House one step from the president", Nance said.

  • Larry Hoffman