DHS Secretary, Former DNI On Kushner: Back Channeling Is Normal, Acceptable, And A Long Standing Practice

The Russian games are back in the limelight. Right now, the focus is on top Trump adviser Jared Kushner, who—gasp—reportedly tried to create a back channel with the Russians. Is this collusion? Is this treason? What does this mean? Well, for starters, it means really nothing. Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, though she isn’t given a byline, reported that a source told her that back channel discussions never occurred. Yet, let’s humor the back channel talk. It’s completely normal and acceptable, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also said that back channeling is a long-standing practice. Even the Obama administration used this method of communication in 2008 to reach out to Iran. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria doesn’t mention it, but Obama sent former diplomat William Miller to Iran to relay the message that should he win the 2008 election, relations would be better (via Fareed Zakaria) [emphasis mine]:

Early in the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama signaled that he was going to break with the Bush administration’s Manichean foreign policy. The topic was Iran. He explained repeatedly that the Bush policy of simply pressuring Iran was not working and that he would be willing to talk to the country’s leaders to find ways to reduce tensions and dangers. Two years into his presidency, Obama’s Iran policy looks a lot like George W. Bush’s — with some of the same problems that candidate Obama pointed out two years ago.

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