Trump braces to defend top aide over new Russian Federation calls

Saturday, 03 Jun, 2017

John McCain of Arizona is not pleased about reports that President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, proposed setting up a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin.

And, there is no sign that Trump has sidelined him, as the president told The New York Times, "Jared is doing a great job for the country".

US President Donald Trump is sticking by his son-in-law and White House confidant Jared Kushner.

The 36-year-old Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, is a real estate developer with no previous government experience.

The Washington Post has previously reported that Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the U.S., told his superiors in Moscow that Kushner proposed a backchannel line of communication between the Trump transition team and the Russian government in December.

"It's normal in my opinion and acceptable", Kelly said of the reports that Kushner made the request for a secret communications channel to the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition.

According to the WaPo report, Kushner had suggested the use of Russian diplomatic facilities as a way to evade USA monitoring during pre-inauguration discussions with Kislyak. Those communications both during the campaign and the White House transition are now the subject of multiple Congressional and Federal Bureau of Investigation probes that are examining Russian interference in the 2016 election. The communications channel was never set up, the people said.

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Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron slammed the Prime Minister for "running away" from the debate on Wednesday evening. May ruled out appearing on televised debates soon after calling the election .

"As you heard [national security adviser H.R.] McMaster and [Homeland Security chief John] Kelly say over this weekend, they're not concerned", she said.

Russian Federation denies any involvement and the White House says there was no collusion.

Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the reports were "obviously very concerning", adding that - if proven - Kushner's top-secret security clearance should be removed immediately.

Taking to Facebook on Sunday, Trump dismissed allegations of Russian Federation ties as "fake news" and "fabricated lies". He said there was also a big question as to what role Mr Kushner should have.

It's not the first time Trump has said the Russians are laughing the U.S.

"Whenever you see the words "sources say" in the fake news media, and they don't mention is very possible that those sources don't exsist but are made up by fake news writers". But Mr. Kushner is not the subject of a criminal investigation.