Jared Kushner defended by Trump amid 'secret Russia line' questions
- Author: Leroy Wright May 31, 2017,
May 31, 2017, 18:16
Friday: The Washington Post reported that Kushner and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak discussed setting up a secret communications back channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin in December.
Additionally, Republican Sen. John McCain told an Australian news station that he was not pleased to hear reports regarding Kushner.
The reports about the December meeting between Russians and Trump officials in Trump Tower, which had already been under scrutiny from investigators, have thrust Kushner into the center of the ongoing Russia investigations.
Jared Kushner reportedly has been encouraged to take a leave of absence from his White House adviser position because of Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutiny of his contacts with Russian Federation. The remarks come amid a report on Saturday that Kushner discussed a secret channel to discuss US military operations in Syria and other matters with the Russians.
In the days after the meeting with Mr. Kislyak, Mr. Kushner had a separate meeting with Sergey N. Gorkov, a Russian banker with close ties to President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
"Jared is doing a great job.", he said.
"His number one, number one interest is the nation".
Asked if such communications were a big deal, Kelly said: "any time you have channels of communication with a country, particularly one like Russian Federation, I wouldn't criticize it".
Trump retweeted a Fox News article that quoted an anonymous source as saying Kushner's secret communications with a Russian diplomat were about Syria. He added: "Whenever you see the words "sources say" in the fake news media, and they don't mention names ... it is very possible that those sources don't exist".
According to news reports published while Trump was away on his trip, Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed discussions with the Russian ambassador about opening a secret back channel of communications to avoid monitoring by USA communications systems.
Administration officials close to President Donald Trump have been pushing Kushner to step aside while the FBI investigates meetings that Kushner he had with Russian figures during the transition period following the November election, The Hill reported.
His last day at the White House has not yet been determined. "In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he is a very good person", Trump told the New York Times.
Spicer started the first White House briefing in two weeks by taking more than five minutes to recap the president's trip, taking only a handful of questions from reporters before abruptly ending the briefing.