NO BIG DEAL

McMaster ‘Not Concerned’ by Reports of Kushner-Kremlin Backchannel

Amid reports that White House senior adviser Jared Kushner tried to set up a secret backchannel with the Kremlin, U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster appeared to shrug off concerns over the news, saying such backchannels are “normal.” “We have back-channel communications with any number of individual (countries). So generally speaking, about back-channel communications, what that allows you to do is communicate in a discreet manner,” he said, according to Reuters. “So it doesn't pre-expose you to any sort of content or any kind of conversation or anything. So we're not concerned about it,” he said. Although he didn’t comment directly on the reports swirling around Kushner’s alleged backchannel proposal, when asked if it would concern him if a member of the Trump administration tried to set up such secret communications with Moscow, McMaster said “no.” The Washington Post reported on Friday that Kushner participated in talks between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador in which they proposed establishing secret communications. The report was just the latest news to bring scrutiny to Trump’s administration amid an ongoing FBI investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the president’s campaign.