Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner should have security clearance reviewed
- Author: Leroy Wright May 31, 2017,
May 31, 2017, 17:34
"Any way that you can communicate with people, particularly organisations that are maybe not particularly friendly to us, is a good thing and, again, it comes back to whatever the communication is, comes back into the government and shared across the government". Some Democrats have called for cancelling Kushner's security clearance which he enjoys as a senior adviser to the president.
It remains unclear whether Lewandowski would work inside the White House or outside; during the campaign, he clashed with several top Trump advisers, including Priebus and Kushner.
"There ought to be a review of his security clearance to find out whether he was truthful, whether he was candid", Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on ABC News' "This Week" on Sunday, the NY Daily News reported. Schiff would neither confirm nor deny the reports about Kushner, but said if they are accurate, "it's obviously very concerning".
Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, is now a senior White House adviser with wide-ranging foreign policy and domestic duties.
Returning to the USA over the weekend after his first official tour overseas as president, Mr Trump responded to accusations Mr Kushner - who is married to his daughter Ivanka - had contacts with Moscow in December about opening a secret back channel of communications. Several people with knowledge of the meeting with Kislyak, and who defended it, have said it was primarily to discuss how the United States and Russian Federation could cooperate to end the civil war in Syria and on other policy issues.
Russia, a pivotal player in Syria, has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad, often at the expense of civilians and at odds with USA policy during Syria's long civil war. At the time, a White House official dismissed it as a brief courtesy meeting. So one is this administration not talking about our values, cozying up to authoritarian leaders.
Kellyanne Conway appeared on "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday morning to call the ongoing investigation into President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner over improper communication with Russian officials a "rush to judgment". National security advisor H.R. McMaster told reporters on Saturday that so-called back-channeling was not unusual.
According to anonymous sources speaking to The New York Times, Trump's aides are preparing a staff shakeup, including building "war room" of communications specialists and lawyers in order to deal with damaging revelations more effectively.
Despite earlier speculation that Kushner would be a "moderating" force in the White House, a growing body of evidence suggests that the real estate scion has often pushed Trump in a more confrontational direction. 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". The current and former US officials now say it may have been part an effort by Kushner to establish a direct line to Putin outside of established diplomatic channels.
Kislyak reportedly was taken aback by the request, which involved possibly using Russian communications equipment at its embassy or consulate.
But a former head of the US National Security Agency condemned Kushner's alleged effort to set up a secret communications line, saying that if it was true, it would reveal a risky degree of ignorance or naivete.
"They reached out to us yesterday to make sure we knew that was the case", Corker said. And something we learned from former CIA Director John Brennan last week, that USA intelligence saw Russian intelligence operatives try to contact members of Trump's campaign.
Questions have long swirled about White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's future, with Trump still weighing a higher-profile role for Spicer's deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. But people familiar with the matter say the Federal Bureau of Investigation now considers the encounter, as well as another meeting Kushner had with a Russian banker, to be of investigative interest.