Trump stands by Kushner as Russian Federation crisis deepens
- Author: Leroy Wright May 31, 2017,
May 31, 2017, 6:42
Mr Trump returned late Saturday from his first global trip as USA president, geared up to combat concerns over aides' ties to Russian Federation including explosive reports that his son-in-law Jared Kushner sought a secret communications line with Moscow.
Following a nine-day trip to the Middle East and Europe, Mr Trump returned to Washington to face a storm of media reports about Mr Kushner's apparent inappropriate links with Russia, including claims that he sought to set up a back channel with Moscow, using the Russian embassy, in December.
A White House in crisis scrambled to allay public concern over reports that Donald Trump's son-in-law sought a secret communications link to Russian Federation - a bombshell allegation the USA president swatted down as 'fabricated'. Former campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie reportedly met with President Trump Monday at the White House, though whether either will be tapped to official positions in the administration-as opposed to advocating for Trump more aggressively as outside "crisis managers"-remains to be seen".
Reuters has reported that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak past year, including two phone calls between April and November. National security adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters on Saturday that so-called back-channeling was not unusual. Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned in February over undisclosed meetings with Russian officials, was present at the meeting.
"It's both normal, in my opinion, and acceptable", Kelly said.
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.
"If not, then there's no way he can maintain that kind of a clearance".
Earlier this month CNN reported that Russian conversations intercepted by the U.S. during the presidential campaign indicated that Moscow saw Trump associate Michael Flynn as an ally who could help influence the Republican nominee. "So you know there's a lot of different ways to communicate - back-channel, publicly - with other countries".
Schiff said he could neither confirm nor deny the allegations against Kushner, but if they are accurate, "it's obviously very concerning".
Franken told "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday that Kushner did not disclose many of his contacts with the Russians when getting his White House security clearance, something Franken believes is "against the law" and "very unusual". A day later, the DNC called for Kushner to be fired from his White House post.
"We have backchannel communications with any number of individual (countries)", he said.