'A Good Thing': WH, GOPers Defend Kushner On Russia Backchannel Reports
- Author: Leroy Wright May 31, 2017,
May 31, 2017, 5:10
The White House has stood behind senior adviser Jared Kushner, despite reports that he sought to arrange covert communications with Russian Federation in the weeks preceding Donald Trump's election as president.
The Washington Post report states the White House plans to "aggressively combat the cascading revelations" about contacts between Russian Federation and Trump associates, including the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner. "I have total confidence in him", he said in a statement to The New York Times. He added that the 36-year-old, who has a portfolio ranging from Middle East peace to streamlining the federal bureaucracy, is "respected by virtually everyone" and "is a very good person".
Ivanka Trump will not be involved in the White House's internal, war room-like operation aimed at developing a rapid-response and communications strategy in an attempt to keep up with the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation, per the administration official. Last week reports claimed Mr Kushner had discussed setting up private back channels to the Kremlin with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
President Donald Trump is assailing internal leaks as he considers an overhaul of his White House staff and grapples with a burgeoning crisis involving alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign.
Kushner was reportedly joined by Michael Flynn, who would resign, after just 24 days as Trump's national security adviser following reports that he secretly spoke with Kislyak about sanctions and lied about it.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a frequent Trump critic, seemed to back him yesterday on CNN's "State of the Union", saying of the Kushner report, "I don't trust this story as far as I can throw it".
In other words, Kushner allegedly tried to set up a backchannel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government that couldn't be monitored by the U.S. government in the months before Trump's inauguration.
One question involves the clearance form Kushner signed when he entered the White House.
Trump, paying tribute Monday to the nation's military dead at a Memorial Day event in Arlington, Virginia, praised fallen soldiers for the "depth of their devotion, the purity of their love" and "the totality of their courage".
Kushner, is one of Trump's closest advisers.
Separately, Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for an investigation into a property deal involving the company run by Mr Kushner's family which was marketed to Chinese investors.