President Trump is reportedly considering a major shakeup to his White House staff and bringing back top campaign strategists over his frustrations by what he sees as his team's inability to contain the crisis involving alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
When news broke late last week that federal investigators were looking at Kushner as a person of interest in the probe of links between the Trump campaign and Russian efforts to tilt last year's presidential election toward the longtime reality TV star, it positioned the investigation awfully close to the Oval Office.
"So you know there's a lot of different ways to communicate - back-channel, publicly - with other countries".
"Any channel of communication, back or otherwise, with a country like Russian Federation is a good thing", Kelly said.
Congressional Democrats are demanding to hear directly from Kushner over allegations of the proposed secret back-channel. He added that it is "very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers".
United States intelligence agencies concluded previous year that Russian Federation used hacking and leaking of emails in an effort to harm Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and ultimately help Trump win.
That this allegation is being seized on to escalate the campaign against Trump highlights the fact that the political conflict centers on issues of USA imperialist foreign policy-in particular, the efforts, led by the Democrats, to whip up an anti-Russian frenzy so as to justify an escalation of the war in Syria and a possible military conflict with nuclear-armed Russia, which could quickly lead to a nuclear Third World War.
Two Republican US senators yesterday played down the Kushner reports, while the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, took a darker view of such contacts with representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I mean, we have back-channel communications with a number of - with a number of countries", McMaster said. #FakeNews is the enemy! If not, are family ties keeping Kushner employed at the White House?
"You have to ask, well, who are they hiding the conversations from?"
"But for people associated with the campaign after that campaign has ended and where the Russians during that campaign were helping you, to try to establish a back channel and hide it from your own government, that's a serious allegation", he said.
The White House should thus be settling in for a long siege.
But Mr Kushner was defended by John Kelly, Mr Trump's Homeland Security secretary, who said his actions had been appropriate. The Democratic National Committee issued a statement declaring: "Trump has no choice but to immediately fire Kushner, whose failure to report this episode on his security clearance is reason enough for a criminal investigation".
Kushner boasts an enormous portfolio of domestic and worldwide responsibilities, underscoring his importance as Trump's chief adviser despite having no experience in politics before the 2016 White House race.
Meanwhile, some top Republicans cast doubts on the Post's reporting, suggesting the whole episode may be a Russian ruse to throw America's political system into a tailspin. "I don't trust this story as far as I can throw it. ..."