Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday cast doubt on reports that White House adviser Jared Kushner sought to establish secretive lines of communications with Russian officials.
“I don’t trust this story as far as I can throw it,” the Republican senator said.
The Washington Post reported on Friday that Kushner discussed during the presidential transition the possibility of establishing back channel communications with the Kremlin that would have evaded U.S. monitoring, according to intercepted conversations between Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Moscow.
The South Carolina Republican said he found it “suspicious” that Russia would allow such a dialogue to be caught by U.S. monitors.
“I think it makes no sense that the Russian ambassador would report back to Moscow on a channel that he most likely knows we’re monitoring,” he told host Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The whole story line is suspicious.
Graham is one of the first GOP lawmakers to publicly downplay reports of Kushner’s conversation with Russian officials.
The South Carolina senator added that he’s more skeptical of information coming out of Russia than ever before
"I’ve never been more concerned and suspicious about all things Russia than I am right now,” he said, adding: “We’re chasing our tails as a nation when it comes to the Russians.”