Kushner sought secret communications with Russian Federation

Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Trump, listens to President Trump during a listening session with cyber security experts in the Roosevelt Room the White House in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

The reports came amid an investigation over the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Moscow that could have played a part in his election victory.

The Washington Post reported separately that Kushner tried to establish secret and secure communications with the Kremlin during Trump's transition.

The contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials during the presidential campaign coincided with what USA intelligence agencies concluded was a Kremlin effort through computer hacking, fake news and propaganda to boost Trump's chances of winning the White House and damage his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

And while this is yet more bad news for the Trump White House, a report from Politico today says that within those walls, "there is a feeling of resentment among people about Kushner's special status as a family member, and a feeling that it's about time for him to have a turn under the gun".

Kushner's lawyer, while not addressing the alleged communications channel, said Kushner would cooperate with any investigations.

And then there's the question of how long he will remain in the White House.

Reuters was first to report last week that a proposal for a back channel was discussed between Flynn and Kislyak as Trump prepared to take office.

"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.

Trump's visits to the Middle East and Europe were widely perceived as diplomatic successes, but as he returns to the White House, his problems are mounting.

Meeting with reporters in Sicily, two Trump advisers refused to address the contents of Kushner's December meeting with the Russian diplomat.

Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutiny of Kushner began when intelligence reports of Flynn's contacts with Russians included mentions of USA citizens, whose names were redacted because of US privacy laws.

The New York Times said the channel was never established.

Trump, who had been uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter during his nine-day trip overseas, resumed his favorite past-time with fury on Sunday, dismissing allegations of Russian Federation ties as "fake news" and "fabricated lies".

But there have been a number of as yet unexplained contacts - during last year's presidential campaign and afterward - between other top Trump aides and senior Russian officials, including Flynn, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Manafort and others.

The head of Russian state-owned Vnesheconombank, Sergei Nikolaevich Gorkov, a trained intelligence officer whom Putin appointed, met Kushner at Trump Tower in December.

While the FBI is investigating Kushner's contacts with Russian Federation, he is not now a target of that investigation, the current law enforcement official said.

Six of the sources said there were multiple contacts between Kushner and Kislyak but declined to give details beyond the two phone calls between April and November and the post-election conversation about setting up a back channel.

Former CIA director John Brennan revealed this week that intelligence chiefs had been looking into suspicious contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials since mid-2016.

Schiff said he expects Kushner to be asked to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.

  • Larry Hoffman