President's Son-in-law Scrutinized in Russian Meddling Investigation

The latest twist involves the president's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who reportedly tried to set up a back channel for communications between the Trump team and Moscow.

"Trump dismissed as "#FakeNews" the anonymously sourced Washington Post and New York Times reports that his top adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner had suggested back-channel communications with Russian Federation.

"I don't see a big deal", Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on "Fox News Sunday".

"It's both normal, in my opinion, and acceptable", he said on ABC's "This Week" programme.

USA mainstream media keeps reporting on the alleged suggestion of a private communications channel between the United States and the Kremlin being set up.

In a statement Sunday night, published by the New York Times, Trump praised the work Kushner has done at the White House.

US President Donald Trump has swatted down a report that his son-in-law Jared Kushner sought a secret communications link to Russian Federation "fabricated".

"If not, then there's no way he can maintain that kind of a clearance", Schiff said.

Two of President Donald Trump's closest aides, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, are keeping their heads down.

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. The person and others discussing private conversations spoke on condition of anonymity.

Russia, a pivotal player in Syria, has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad, often at the expense of civilians and at odds with US policy during Syria's long civil war.

Kushner boasts an enormous portfolio of domestic and global responsibilities, underscoring his importance as Trump's chief adviser despite having no experience in politics before the 2016 White House race.

Flynn handed in his resignation in February after it was revealed he misled top White House officials about his contacts with Russian officials.

Prior to the release of her book, Ivanka said she would not be overly promoting it because of ethics in her role at the capital.

The statement was embedded in a broader piece from all star reporters, Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman and Sharon LaFraniere, about the growing scandal now engulfing Kushner about his Russian connections. "We're just not going to comment".

And former campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie are back in the president's orbit, sources confirmed to NBC News, with their prospects of officially joining the administration swirling as Trump seeks out the team that brought him success during the campaign.

Having offered little in the way of policy specifics - and with Congress on recess next week - Trump's White House could struggle to distract attention from the Russian Federation probes.

It comes as Trump returned to Washington from his first worldwide trip, renewed his tweets about unfair media coverage, and eyed a major retooling of his White House staff to deal with Russia-related scrutiny.

"It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media", he wrote.

The Trump administration argued over the weekend that back-channel communications are acceptable in building dialogue with foreign governments, part of an effort to minimize fallout over White House adviser Jared Kushner's reported discussion about creating a secret conduit to the Kremlin at a Russian diplomatic compound.

The Post quoted US officials Friday as saying that the move was meant to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from scrutiny. Michael Flynn, since fired as the president's national security advisor for his Russian associations, was also at the meeting.

Kushner in March said he was ready to testify about his Russian Federation meetings to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Trump has privately pinned some of the blame for his administration's rough start on the White House's communications strategy.

Some top Republicans cast doubts on the Post's report, suggesting that the whole episode may be a Russian ruse to throw America's political system into a tailspin. Kushner's attorney, Jamie Gorelick, told Reuters that Kushner "has no recollection of the calls as described".

Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has called for the suspension of Kushner's security clearance.

  • Larry Hoffman