Another day another frenzy-filled news feed filled with what folks on the left perceive as bombshells that are sure to destroy Trump’s presidency. As we’ve seen time and time again, it is unwise to jump to conclusions without evidence when it comes to Trump-Russia speculation, because, as it has been since day one, there is no hard evidence to support direct collusion between Trump and Russia.
Here’s a quick recap of what happened in reference to the most scandalous “bombshell,” the Jared Kushner stories.
The Washington Post reported that during a December meeting between White House advisor and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Kushner apparently brought up his desire to utilize a special backchannel; a secretive form of communication that can be used by both the United States and Russia to communicate. The use of presidential backchannels is a normal ordeal and is well precedented. Even the left’s hero former President Obama employed one to establish a line of communication between the United States and Iran. They’re generally used to ensure that not every conversation and negotiation is openly available to members of the intelligence community, making it susceptible to leakage. And, as we know, leaks have been one of the banes of Trump’s presidency so far; which makes sense for a member of his administration to suggest setting up a backchannel.
The issue is how Kushner supposedly wanted to establish said backchannel. Kushner wanted to use gear at the Russian embassy to allow the country’s to talk together, bypassing the CIA and other American intelligence agencies. However, using the Russian embassy, that’d make the information passed through the line open to Russian intelligence agencies — a result that presumably negates the intent of creating a backchannel. What makes this more concerning is that if reported on correctly, means that Jared Kushner trusts the Russians more than America’s own intelligence agencies; a silly mistake. All the more reason he should have no role whatsoever in the White House.
The White House has yet to confirm whether or not the Washington Post story was correct or not. A report from Fox News what many on the right, including the President himself in the form of a “retweet,” are heralding as a defense of Jared Kushner. The story presents a conflicting account of the December meeting from another anonymous source:
During the meeting the Russians broached the idea of using a secure line between the Trump administration and Russia, not Kushner, a source familiar with the matter told Fox News. That follows a recent report from The Washington Post alleging that Kushner wanted to develop a secure, private line with Russia.
The idea of a permanent back channel was never discussed, according to the source. Instead, only a one-off for a call about Syria was raised in the conversation.
In addition, the source told Fox News the December meeting focused on Russia’s contention that the Obama administration’s policy on Syria was deeply flawed.
So, basically there are two sources here: one says that Jared Kushner attempted to set up a presumably nefarious backchannel to establish a secure and secretive line of communications with the Russians. The other source says that Syria was instead discussed not a “permanent backchannel,” and that it was the Russians, not Kushner, who proposed the idea of a line of communication.
Folks on the right are proclaiming the Fox News source is the more credible one as The Washington Post has a horrible recent history of promulgating fake news. It just as silly for right-wingers to hold up the Fox News report as the objective truth as it is for those on the left to prop up the WaPo story. We don’t have the facts.
According to The New York Times, there was talk of a backchannel. However, it never manifested into any real form of communication and that “It is unclear who first proposed the communications channel.”
This war of anonymous sources comes after a slew of bombshells released by various outlets over the week all about Jared Kushner. Focus is now being put on him with regard to the Russia probe, he was said to have partook in undisclosed communications with Kislyak during the transition, he had an overt role in urging Trump to oust Comey, and, of course, the now famed December meeting.
What does this all mean? It means that Jared Kushner should not be and should never have been part of the Trump team in the White House. It’s clear to anyone looking at this that he is a liability and needs to be fired. It should be noted, however, that there is still no clear sign of fiendish collusion between Team Trump and Russia.