Kelly defends plan for Russia back channel as a 'good thing'

The pair has, according to early reports, given themselves six months to succeed in Washington at their new careers, or return to New York City, where Ivanka would go back to her signature clothing and accessories corporation, and Kushner would go back to real estate investment and development.

Secondly, setting up a meeting with a "Russian contact" and the transition team in a third country; that meeting appears to have taken place in January, between an informal advisor to the Trump campaign and a representative of President Putin, which took place in the Seychelles in January, the Washington Post reported in April.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is on the defensive amid reports that the president's adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner had proposed a secret back channel between the Kremlin and the Trump transition team. "Any way that you can communicate with people, particularly organizations that are maybe not particularly friendly to us, is a good thing and, again, it comes back to whatever the communication is, comes back into the government and shared across the government; so, it's not a bad thing to have multiple communication lines to any government", he said.

The job of White House communications director is, oddly, largely a behind-the-scenes post, one that involves planning the president's messaging through press outreach, social media, travel and other means.

Kushner was joined by Michael Flynn, the retired general who would resign as Trump's national security adviser after reports that he secretly spoke with Kislyak about sanctions.

I once wrote that he was the only one of President Trump's close advisers who couldn't be fired, but Kushner's father-in-law would be smart to prove me wrong.

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Moscow has denied United States intelligence agencies' conclusion that it meddled in the campaign to try to tilt the election in Trump's favour. The person wasn't authorized to publicly discuss private policy deliberations and insisted on anonymity. Kushner is under scrutiny - not necessarily the subject of any investigation or suspected of any wrongdoing - in the FBI's probe.

Congressional Democrats have demanded to hear directly from Kushner about the allegations against him, CBS reported. At the time, a White House official dismissed it as a brief courtesy meeting. "And the other pattern we have is just a continuous drumbeat of inappropriate contacts with the Russians".

During the Monica Lewinsky investigation, the Clinton White House brought on a dedicated group of lawyers and a created a separate media operation to handle investigation-related inquiries so they didn't completely subsume the president's agenda.

Contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials during the campaign coincided with what USA intelligence agencies concluded was a Kremlin effort through computer hacking, fake news and propaganda to boost Mr Trump's chances of winning the White House.

"Whenever you see the words "sources say" in the fake news media, and they don't mention names", Mr Trump wrote, "it is very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fakenews writers". Officials said he misled Vice-President Mike Pence about whether he and the ambassador had discussed USA sanctions against Russian Federation in a phone call.

The latest revelations to emerge last week involved Trump's son-in-law and top aide, Jared Kushner.

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