White House is 'not going to comment on Jared' Kushner

Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors that Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, wanted to set up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin, according to the latest revelations about links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

The Post report cited communications intercepted by us intelligence officials as Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow. But no issues will be more hard than the intensifying investigations into Russian interference in the USA election, questions about Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, and Russia's relationships with the Trump administration and family.

The Washington Post also reported separately that Kushner tried to establish secret and secure communications with the Kremlin during Trump's transition. "Unthinkable Kushner could stay in the White House".

The newspaper cited anonymous USA officials who were briefed on intelligence reports on intercepted Russian communications. "So, generally speaking about backchannel communications, what that allows you to do is to communicate in a discreet manner", McMaster said.

Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, was also present.

The revelation, if confirmed, would raise new questions about the Trump team's relationship with the Russians, who USA intelligence agencies say tried to sway the November election in Trump's favor and thus deny Hillary Clinton the presidency.

Kushner and White House chief adviser Steve Bannon will be involved in the messaging operation, Reuters reported Friday, as well as former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who could join the administration as early as next week.

Kushner, a close adviser to Trump, went so far as to suggest using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States to protect such a channel from being monitored, the Post said, quoting USA officials briefed on intelligence reports.

But Burns added that it does not make sense why members of the Trump transition team would not communicate "transparently and openly" with foreign officials.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has "asked President Trump's political organization to gather and produce all Russia-related documents, emails and phone records going back to his campaign's launch in June 2015", The Post reported.

The Post and other media have been careful to note that their sources did not say Kushner was a "target" of the investigation, nor that he was accused of any wrongdoing.

Kushner's lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, told CNN in response to the Reuters report: "Mr. Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time period".

Stuart Rothenberg, a political analyst based in Washington, said the revelations showed no signs of slowing, particularly with the recent appointment of Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, to oversee the justice department's Russian Federation investigation.

In recent days it emerged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking at Mr Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, and meetings he held with prominent Russians after Mr Trump's unexpected election victory.

Regarding Kushner, former FBI agent Jim Treacy said Friday: "If there is an investigation on anybody, would other folks around that person be of interest to the FBI as far as being interviewed?"

If Trump was reluctant to firing a former advisor with no family relation, it can be expected the president won't budge on Kushner's unending influence in his administration.

Pope Francis posed with President Donald Trump (C) his wife Melania (R), Jared Kushner (L) and Ivanka Trump during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017.

  • Zachary Reyes