Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said that if reports are true that White House senior advisor Jared Kushner has been setting up back channels to the Kremlin, that’s a good thing — not subject to criticism.
Fox News host Chris Wallace asked the former Marine Corps general about the alleged scandal that Kushner, who is also a son-in-law to President Donald Trump, sought out Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to develop back-channel communications with the Kremlin.
“I think any channel of communication — back or otherwise — with a country like Russia is a good thing,” he told Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”You just have to assume, obviously, that what you’re getting … may not be true, they might be working you, but that’s the whole point.”
Wallace questioned Kelly’s dismissal as no big deal, forcing the DHS secretary to repeat his analysis.
“I think any time you have channels of communication with a country — particularly one like Russia — I wouldn’t criticize it,” Kelly reiterated.
He added that his assessment wasn’t changed just because the backchannels were allegedly set up during the administration’s transition phase, given that prior to the inauguration, the Trump administration lacked the power to do anything to inhibit the Obama administration.
“As they build relationships, there’s nothing wrong with that,” Kelly said. “As they build their own situational awareness — with Russia in this case — I don’t see an issue here.”
During his first run for the White House, then-candidate Obama said he’d meet with foreign leaders of countries who are enemies to America without preconditions.
At that time liberals hailed this as the epitome of diplomacy. Now communication is a bad thing for them?
Kelly and Wallace also discussed intelligence leaks about last week’s Manchester bombing to the press, which Kelly described as “outrageous.”
When the information was first disclosed, British Prime Minister Theresa May excoriated the leakers and temporarily halted the flow of intelligence to the United States.
I don’t know why people do it,” Kelly said of the leaks. “It jeopardizes not only the investigation but people’s lives.”
[Copyright By Michael Dorstewitz]