Kellyanne Conway: Jared Kushner's foreign contacts helped make Trump's trip successful

Posted May 31, 2017

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, said Sunday that White House adviser Jared Kushner's security clearance should be reviewed in light of revelations about his meetings with Russian officials before President Donald Trump took office.

This week, that means dealing with the continuation of the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the transition into the White House.

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.

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.

It contradicted a May 26 Washington Post report that claimed Kushner offered a back channel to the Russians during an early December meeting at Trump Tower.

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The Post reported that the direct line would have been conducted through Russian diplomatic facilities to avoid being monitored in USA communication systems.

The White House has tried to downplay Kushner's contacts, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday he "didn't see any big issue".

"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 morning after his return home.

The newspaper cited anonymous U.S. officials who were briefed on intelligence reports on intercepted Russian communications.

"We have back-channel communications with a number, any number of countries, no I would not be concerned about it", said McMaster.

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Donald Trump's Jewish son-in-law and key adviser has been caught up in an escalating scandal over the United States president's links to Russian Federation, after it was revealed that he set up a secret "back channel" before Trump even took office.

The FBI is investigating whether Donald Trump's son-in-law plotted with a Russian banker to set up a secret direct line to Vladimir Putin.

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.

Trump retweeted a Fox News article that quoted an anonymous source as saying Kushner's secret communications with a Russian diplomat were about Syria.

The FBI, a special counsel and multiple congressional committees are investigating Russian interference in the USA presidential campaign past year and whether the Trump camp colluded in it.

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