The President Arrives Home to a New Russia Report


White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a breakfast with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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Back on his home turf after an eight-day foreign trip, President Donald Trump is once again facing down controversy — and now it’s hitting close to home. Trump was greeted on U.S. soil by new reports involving his son-in-law-turned-senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner.

NBC News reported Thursday that Kushner has come under FBI scrutiny in the Russia investigation, with multiple officials telling NBC News that investigators believe Kushner has significant information relevant to their inquiry. That doesn’t mean, however, that they suspect him of a crime or intend to charge him. A source familiar with the thinking inside the White House told NBC News that a few individuals have even suggested to Kushner that he should “lay low,” in the aftermath of those reports and new revelations that he sought to set up a secret back-channel with Russia.

Separately, a White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told NBC News that at least one staffer was speechless when they learned about reports of a purported Russia back channel. Despite that request, there is no indication that the president shares that view and Kushner remains one of his top advisers. “Jared is doing a great job for the country,” the president told The New York Times Sunday. “I have total confidence in him. He is respected by virtually everyone and is working on programs that will save our country billions of dollars. In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he is a very good person.”

The Washington Post reported Friday that Kushner discussed setting up a secure and secret communication channel between the Kremlin and the Trump transition with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The proposal, which hasn’t been independently confirmed by NBC News, was made during a meeting in December with Kisylak, also attended by former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, The Post reported.

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