Kushner and the back story of back channels
- Author: Leroy Wright May 31, 2017,
May 31, 2017, 4:18
The Monday Fox News report that Trump retweeted lays blame on the Russians, rather than Kushner, for discussing the possibility of a communications back channel between the Trump administration and Moscow.
But that isn't what's commonly thought of as a "back channel" - where unofficial talks happen with another country, or sensitive negotiations are conducted through a third nation with which the US doesn't have diplomatic relations.
The Fox News item says Kushner spoke with Kislyak about Syria during the December meeting.
The Washington Post published an article Friday saying Russia's ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, told Moscow that Kushner wanted a secret communications channel between the Trump team and the Kremlin.
Also, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also reportedly looking into a December meeting between Kushner and a former intelligence officer appointed by Vladimir Putin as CEO of a Russian state-owned bank that is under USA sanctions and was implicated in a 2015 espionage case.
Trump is standing by Kushner, telling The New York Times that Kushner is doing a "great job" for the United States.
Trump on Sunday, though, went after leaking of information and warned people not to trust stories that include the words "sources say". #FakeNews is the enemy!'
The "Fox & Friends" tweet promoted by Trump said, "Jared Kushner didn't suggest Russian communications channel in meeting, source says". But one of its top journalists, Catherine Herridge, was credited at the bottom of the report with contributing reporting.
Also on our docket this week, the future of US involvement in the Paris Accord, reviewing the Congressional Budget Office's scoring of Republicans plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and a look ahead to whether Republicans will run to or from President Trump in the 2018 midterm elections.
The FBI is investigating whether Donald Trump's son-in-law plotted with a Russian banker to set up a secret direct line to Vladimir Putin.
Spicer also confirmed that Mr. Trump is interviewing two candidates for Federal Bureau of Investigation director Tuesday - John Pistole, a former deputy Federal Bureau of Investigation director, and Christopher Wray, a former assistant attorney general.