Kushner proposed secret back channel between Russia, Pres

Incoming French president Emmanuel Macron speaks after his victory in presidential runoff at his campaign headquarters in Paris Sunday

Incoming French president Emmanuel Macron speaks after his victory in presidential runoff at his campaign headquarters in Paris Sunday

Minutes before, another even more damning report had landed, too: Kushner had approached Russian envoy Sergey Kislyak about creating a top-secret back-channel for communications at the Russian consulate in New York City.

A Washington Post story out Friday reported that Kushner proposed establishing a "secret and secure" backchannel with the Kremlin to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

As Trump and his entourage prepared to return to the USA from Italy on Saturday, McMaster and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn fielded questions at a news briefing about reports that Kushner discussed establishing a backchannel line of communication between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin.

This person says the administration felt there was no need for a back channel once Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was confirmed, and the Trump team chose to communicate with Moscow through more official channels.

FBI investigators are examining whether Russians suggested to Kushner or other Trump aides that relaxing economic sanctions would allow Russian banks to offer financing to people with ties to Trump, said the current U.S. law enforcement official.

Setting up such a private channel between a foreign leader and a transition team would be unusual, according to the Post, though the State Department, the White House National Security Council, and the USA intelligence agencies all have that ability.

You can listen to McMaster's remarks above, via MSNBC.

The controversy surrounding Kushner's alleged plan cast a shadow over the final few days of Trump's first overseas trip as commander in chief, which the president described yesterday as a "home run". Kushner has offered to talk to Congress about these meetings, according to his lawyer.

The two US officials sought to accentuate areas of agreement amid the many differences between Trump and European allies. The Times' sources say the lines were never set up.

Mr. Trump former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned in February after it was revealed he misled Vice President Pence about the nature of his own conversations with Mr. Kislyak. They do not suggest that Kushner is a target of the investigation. Two people familiar with those 18 contacts said Flynn and Kushner were among the Trump associates who spoke to the ambassador by telephone.

"Trump's top economic and national security advisers refused to comment on the series of allegations that Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is facing regarding his contacts with Russian officials during a news briefing of Trump's maiden foreign trip".

Recently appointed special counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, is starting off an investigation with a broad mandate that will allow him to probe both the possible Russian influence and whether Trump attempted to obstruct the investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey.

His whirlwind foreign trip complete, President Donald Trump faces a slew of political and policy challenges at home and mushrooming inquiries into allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the US election and had improper dealings with his campaign and associates.

In this May 23, 2017, photo, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, left, and his wife Ivanka Trump watch during a visit by President Donald Trump to Yad Vashem to honor the victims of the Holocaust in Jerusalem.

Kushner's lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, told CNN in response to the Reuters report: "Mr. Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time period".

- Former House Speaker John Boehner said aside from getting the House to pass a new health care bill, the president's time in office thus far has been "a complete disaster".

When applying for a security clearance, applicants are asked to disclose details about their interactions with foreigners, including the names of all the foreign government officials the applicant has had contact with over the past seven years.

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