Closer to Putin than to Obama? Jared Kushner’s attempt to set up back-channel communications with the Russian government poses questions about his true motives, write Abby Phillip and Max Ehrenfreund of the Washington Post. They assert that his security clearance should be reviewed, given that he didn’t mention this before. Kushner could have risked himself being manipulated by the Russians, particularly if he wasn’t coordinating with the Obama administration. Among allegations of collusion, Kushner’s action raises the question of whether Trump’s inner circle had closer relations with Russia than the Obama administration.
Fixing the leak. Back-channel communications have a long history in diplomatic relations, holds Mary Dejevsky of the Independent. In her view, Kushner was simply attempting to establish safe communications with the Russian government that would allow for unfiltered and genuine dialogue. Furthermore, at a time dominated by compromising leaks, this effort could prevent sensitive information from getting out to the press. Dejevsky reminds readers that the Cold War and many of its conflicts were amicably resolved due to such private communication. She suggests that such a channel could have ended up having a similar effect among present tensions with Russia.