But Spicer also pointed to remarks from senior administration officials that "in general terms. back channels are an appropriate part of diplomacy". That piece says the ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, told Moscow that Kushner last December wanted to set up a secret communications channel that could include Russian gear in its embassy or consulate.
But the reports that the meeting between Kushner and Gorkov is being investigated may suggest that the investigators remain skeptical, or unsatisfied, with the answers the Trump administration has provided.
Kushner's meetings with Russians have come under increasing scrutiny.
Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, had contacts with Moscow in December about opening a secret back channel of communications, according to news reports published while Trump was away on his trip.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, described the latest allegations involving Kushner as "serious" and called for a thorough investigation.
Is there a recording system in the White House?
"My sense is Jared is going to have a longer leash and would be treated differently".
US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster in an off-camera interview saying back-channels aren't unusual.
When asked point blank whether the White House disputed the back channel reports, Spicer said that the question, posed by The Washington Post's Phil Rucker, "presupposed facts that have not been confirmed". "So, generally speaking, about back-channel communications, what that allows you to do is to communicate in a discreet manner".
Kelly told "Fox News Sunday" there was nothing wrong with the Trump transition team trying to build relationships with the Russians as they prepared to take over the White House. Flynn was also present at the early-December meeting, and later that month, Flynn held a call with Kislyak to discuss USA -imposed sanctions against Russian Federation. Meyer mentioned that Kushner had recently joined the administration.
While stories of potential staff shakeups seem like a weekly occurrence in this White House, Trump's mounting ire - and the likelihood that its source can't be easily eliminated - may create the right conditions for an actual senior staff shuffle.
Although he is now under fierce scrutiny over the Russian Federation meeting, Kushner has at times been viewed as a moderating influence on his firebrand father-in-law.
Trump also has to decide soon on a Pentagon recommendation to add more USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in Afghanistan, as well as boosting reinforcement for the beleaguered Afghan military.
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania step off Air Force One May 27, 2017 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland following his nine-day foreign trip.