Kushner sought secret communications with Russia


Current and former US intelligence officials said that although Russian diplomats have secure means of communicating with Moscow, Kushner's apparent request for access to such channels was extraordinary.

This is part of the FBI's ongoing inquiry into alleged meddling by the Kremlin in the election, media reports said.

The daily alleged that the discussion of a secret channel adds to a broader pattern of efforts by Trump's closest advisers to obscure their contacts with Russian counterparts. But he acknowledged that the United States has back-channel communications with a number of countries that allow officials to "communicate in a discreet manner".

The intent was to connect Trump's chief national security adviser at the time, Michael Flynn, with Russian military leaders, a person familiar with the discussions told the AP.

First reported by the Washington Post, and followed up by others, revelations about Mr. Kushner are the latest in a series of leaks from security officials that put Mr. Trump on the defensive.

Mr Kushner's troubles are only one facet of the crisis. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Among other changes on the agenda of the U.S. administration is an increase in Trump's campaign-style rallies through the United States in order improve the president's connections with supporters and a less public role for the White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

"If it's true that somebody did ask for some kind of private line, some kind of mode of communication that was secure, that was unusual, boy does that raise a whole bunch of questions", he said.

Meanwhile, White House counsel Donald McGahn is mulling expanding his office, and an outside legal team led by Marc Kasowitz is readying to meet with Trump and guide him, including on whether he should continue to comment on the Russian Federation investigations on Twitter.

Trump has denied any collusion with Russian Federation, calling the probe "the greatest witch hunt" in American political history.

The FBI's Russian Federation investigation gained increased attention after the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

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Heightening concerns for the White House, Comey is expected to testify before Congress after Memorial Day about memos he kept on conversations with the president that pertained to the investigation.

Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutiny of Kushner began when intelligence reports of Flynn's contacts with Russians included mentions of USA citizens, whose names were redacted because of US privacy laws.

John Brennan, who was Central Intelligence Agency director at the time, then started to notice that the Russians were reaching out to Trump campaign officials.

Mr Kushner, who organised the President's Middle East stops at the start of the foreign trip, chose to return to Washington with several days yet to go and has been unusually subdued since then.

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

Defense attorneys and former FBI agents say that one likely area of interest for investigators would be Kushner's own meetings with Russians, given that such encounters with a variety of Trump associates are at the root of the sprawling probe, now overseen by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

The Post reported last week that the Russian Federation investigation had been extended to a top White House official as a "significant person of interest".

As he returns from his first trip overseas as U.S. president, Donald Trump is reportedly considering a series of shakeups in the White House.

The FBI, in the course of its investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election, is now also looking at Kushner's multiple roles in Trump's campaign operation and his contacts with Russian officials.

President Trump said his first foreign trip in office was a big success, boasting on Twitter that he saved "millions of jobs".

The Senate and House Intelligence committees also are investigating, but not with an eye to bringing criminal charges.

In early December, after Mr Trump had won the elections, Mr Kushner and Flynn met in NY with Kislyak.