White House silent on reported Kushner 'communications channel' with Moscow

However, the eve of his return brought the biggest story to date: A Washington Post report Friday about Kushner's alleged proposal to the Russians to create a secret channel out of earshot of U.S. spymasters.

Reuters reported Friday that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak past year, including two phone calls between April and November.

The backchannel was never established.

Jared Kushner is a person of interest in the FBI's investigation into his role in setting up communications between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

The wider investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling is being led by Robert Mueller, a respected former FBI director who was given broad powers to pursue the case as a special counsel after Trump abruptly fired Comey on May 9. "It's bad for the prospects of calm at the White House".

"Mr. Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time period", attorney Jamie Gorelick said. It is conceivable, though, that Mr Kislyak was exaggerating or misunderstood what was said. Flynn apparently would have been the USA point person, the source said.

White House aides prepared for potential changes ahead, with the president mulling a staff overhaul amid frustrations over what he views as his communication team's failures to push back against allegations.

CBS News reported earlier this week that Mr. Trump asked top intelligence officials to defend him against claims that his campaign collaborated with the Russian government.

U.S. investigators would have been intrigued to see then-candidate Trump's son-in-law meeting with Russians. That aide, Raffel, traveled overseas with him to Riyadh, Jerusalem and Rome.

"He needs to answer for what was happening at the time", Booker said. And the pool of people in New York City eager to come to his defense has shrunk.

As for Mr Kushner, he is apparently not looking to reduce his role as part of Mr Trump's team but he is said to have become increasingly tired of the scrutiny he has been placed under.

Mr. Kushner is a senior adviser to the President and is influential in policy matters.

"Kushner not going anywhere, I'm told".

The negative headlines have sparked speculation of a White House shake-up. The issue of Kushner "is not one that he's spending time with on this trip". This official said Kushner will keep his head down and stay focused on his work.

The news about Kushner, whose face blanketed cable news on Saturday, overshadowed Trump's foreign trip on its final day. The administration also considers to significantly change the frequency and format of the press briefings, according to the newspaper.

On Saturday, Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster told the Washington Post that he "would not be concerned" about the existence of a clandestine communication line between Trump's team and Russian Federation, though he refused to comment specifically on the developing allegations against Kushner.

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".

"We're not going to comment on Jared, we're just not going to comment", said Gary Cohn, Trump's chief economic adviser, during a press conference in Italy as a G7 summit wound down.

Another official noted that it was Kushner's conversations with foreign officials during the transition that allowed him to form relationships with the Saudis and pull off a successful first foreign trip for Trump. "If it's been publicly reported that he met with Russians, and the investigation has to do with administration officials meeting with Russians, well, then, they'll probably want to talk to everybody".

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