- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 28, 2017

Rep. Adam Schiff of California on Sunday said reports that White House adviser Jared Kushner sought a secret channel to talk with the Russians would be “very concerning,” if true, considering the Kremlin’s alleged interference in the U.S. election.

Mr. Kushner, who is also President Trump’s son-in-law, wanted to use a Russian facility to shield the communications from U.S. agencies, according to a report in the Washington Post.

“If these reports are accurate, right after that campaign, after that intervention, to have the president’s son-in-law, a key player within the Trump Organization trying to establish a back channel with the Russians through a Russian diplomatic facility, you have to ask, well, who are they hiding the conversations from?” said Mr. Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC’s “This Week.”

The Democratic National Committee has already called for Mr. Kushner to be fired, and thus forfeit his security clearance, though Mr. Schiff said he wants to get the facts first.

“I think we need to get to the bottom of these allegations,” he said. “But I do think there ought to be a review of his security clearance to find out whether he was truthful, whether he was candid. If not then there’s no way he can maintain that kind of a clearance.”

Mr. Schiff also said he was “disappointed” to see Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, say he was “not concerned” about the reports over back-channeling with the Russians.

“I think this is an administration that takes in people with good credibility and chews them out and spits out their credibility at the same time,” he told ABC, though clarified he didn’t think Mr. McMaster had totally lost his credibility.

“I think that anyone within the Trump orbit is at risk of being used,” Mr. Schiff said.


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