The talks between Kushner and Kislyak at Trump Tower in NY weren't acknowledged during the transition, and it's not clear which side called for the meeting. He added that the 36-year-old, who has a portfolio ranging from Middle East peace to streamlining the federal bureaucracy, is "respected by virtually everyone" and "is a very good person".
The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee is urging a review of White House adviser Jared Kushner's security clearance following news reports that he sought to set up back-channel communications with Russian Federation.
According to news reports published while Trump was away on his trip, Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed discussions with the Russian ambassador about opening a secret back channel of communications to avoid monitoring by USA communications systems.
The President, who significantly curtailed his presence on Twitter during his first global tour - which took him to Saudi Arabia, Israel, The Vatican, Brussels and Sicily - could certainly be irritated at the revelations regarding Kushner published by The Washington Post last Friday in an article citing "US.officials briefed on intelligence reports".
Democrats, in light of the reports, are calling for the president to revoke the 36-year-old's security clearance because of his potential links to Russian Federation.
Current and former USA officials said Mr. Kushner's activities, like those of many others around Mr. Trump, are under scrutiny as part of the investigation. National security advisor H.R. McMaster told reporters on Saturday that so-called back-channeling was not unusual.
But members of the Trump administration came to the defense of Kushner. The newspaper cited anonymous U.S. officials who were briefed on intelligence reports on intercepted Russian communications.
Back on American soil from his first foreign trip, President Trump on Sunday held meetings that could shake up White House operations and released a flurry of Twitter posts dismissing White House leaks as "fake news".
Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Reuters reported. "I think any channel of communication, back or otherwise, with a country like Russian Federation is a good thing".
"Just because you have a back channel, if indeed that's what Jared was after, doesn't mean that he then keeps everything secret", Kelly said on NBC's "Meet the Press".
While, this is the first time Kushner was slammed by a Republican, fellow GOP leader and South Carolina Sen. "They are not our friends".