White House Ducks Questions Over Kushner Back-Channel Reports

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and a top White House adviser, is reportedly under Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutiny as part of a probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday promoted an unbylined Fox News story based on a single anonymous source to defend his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, just days after blasting such stories as "made up".

Trump added in the statement that Kushner was "respected by virtually everyone", and was busy working to help save the country "billions of dollars". "In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he is a very good person", Trump told the New York Times.

President Donald Trump's top adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, on the firing line for his reported attempt to set up a "back-channel" with Russian Federation, has received support from USA ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.

Spicer was asked on Tuesday whether Trump knew about reported efforts by Kushner in December to set up a back channel for communications with Russian Federation.

Philip Mudd, a security analyst who worked at the Central Intelligence Agency for 25 years, suggested Mr Trump may have proposed the channel idea to Mr Kushner or at least approved it, and said it was unlikely Mr Kushner had been working alone.

A special counsel is investigating whether Trump aides colluded with Russian officials to help him win the November election, while congressional committees have called on numerous current and former Trump aides to testify. But he said if they are, "I think any channel of communication, back or otherwise, with a country like Russian Federation is a good thing".

The White House has said the Trump administration's national security team is putting together a "holistic solution" to defeat Islamic State.

President Trump's son-in-law and top advisor Jared Kushner (Ivanka's husband) talked to the Russian ambassador about setting up a secret communications channel linking the transition team with Moscow.

Other potential staff changes could be in the works, according to Axios News, which first reported Dubke's departure, including fewer on-camera news briefings by Spicer, the White House press secretary. This was first reported by the Washington Post last week.

Schiff said he could neither confirm nor deny the allegations against Kushner, but if they are accurate, "it's obviously very concerning".

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he didn't know if the news reports were true but described back-channel communications as a "good thing".

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner in Bethlehem, Israel, on May 23.

  • Leroy Wright