Discussion: Franken: Reported Kushner Backchannel Is A 'Pretty Bad Breach' (VIDEO)

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Understated, but to the point. As always.

Well played , sir.


This might come out to, you know, what did the President know, and when did his son-in-law tell him?”

I’m glad Funny Al has finally been let off the leash.


Franken really nailed this. He was careful enough to say that we would look before judging but in the same breath basically said this doesn’t pass any reasonable person’s smell test and went further to indicate that JK likely acted on Trump’s orders. That’s the piece that is only starting to get into the MSM in the last 24 hours. There is no denial that Kushner met with the Russians or asked for this secret line. The questions are why would he do that, what did both sides get or expect to get out of that arrangement, and on whose orders?


Kushner should have his security clearance revoked. The most dangerous animal is a wounded animal.


that Kushner had discussed establishing a secret backchannel to the Kremlin, using equipment in Russian facilities in the United States, with Russia’s ambassador to the United States in December.

I think at this point it’s incumbent upon the Dems to explain that not all “backchannels” are alike. That [expletive deleted] Conway went out on talk shows to say that other administrations had backchannels and that they’re common in the WH.

What Kushner did was to set up a secretive communication center on Russian facilities to have conversations with the Russians for the purposes of making those conversations secret.

That’s not common to any normal administration.


Franken referred to it as “a thing” Kushner tried to set up, and media still refer to it as a “backchannel.” It’s not as benign as that sounds. It was espionage, setting up the ability to spy on his country with a the help of an unfriendly government with whom he wanted to communicate.

But the funny Al is still with us. In an interview about a book he’s just published there was this.

If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

I’d just be happy to find out he had decided to read a book.

@brooklyndweller @chlarry As trumPP might say, “not a back channel, not a back channel.” It’s spying. We need to stop using it.


I’ve read that it may be legal to set up a back channel line of communication because Kushner and Trump were private citizens before Jan 20th. Weren’t both Trump, and possibly Kushner, getting intelligence briefings prior to Jan 20th? I don’t understand how anyone who is getting intelligence briefings still has the right to set up a line of back channel communication with a foreign power that is shielded from our own intelligence agencies. This seems obvious, but it doesn’t get a lot of mention in press reports.


“Kushner later amended his clearance application.”

What is it with these guys and their amended this and that? Why are they getting away with it - they knew at the time they were filing false applications, and there’s got to be a penalty. If it isn’t perjury per se, there has to be some equivalent.


Except for the fact that this happened before Cheeto Jesus was sworn in and no other transition team has ever had back channels designed to evade our intelligence services’ monitoring.


Framing it as “protocol” is weak.

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Stop using the words “Back Channel”. This was not a back channel. This was going to be through Russian Communication. A back channel is using a foreign person to communicate with the government of interest. Democrats always fall into the republican trap of using their word for something. Example: Obama Care for ACA. And the Democrats including the President use this to their detriment. Stop it!!!


Agreed. Secret encrypted Russian communication stream to Russian intelligence hidden from our own National Security and Intelligence teams.

Call it what it is.


And I have read that as private citizen doing this is a violation of the Logan Act.


"This may come down to “What did the president know and when did his son-in-law tell him?” Classic Franken.

Nice piece about Franken on CBS Sunday Morning as well.


A “back channel” that Russian intelligence can see, but that US intelligence cannot see is definitely not benign to American interests. If Kushner was a member of the IC and did this, it would be akin to treason. But what about the recipients of intelligence briefings? Certainly there is some legal responsibility to not set up a “back channel” venue that is hidden from our IC and unknown to our intelligence community. At the very least, Flynn was with Kushner when he reportedly tried to do this, and Flynn had participated in intelligence briefings with Trump. At this point Trump wasn’t president yet, so he did not have legal authority to declassify whatever he wanted to share with the Russians, so that absurd excuse did not apply. It seems like more than just a pretty bad thing, but a definitely illegal thing.


For me “backchannel” is like saying “climate change” when in fact what’s happening is global warming. The bushies put that benign spin on something that’s happening to make us forget how dangerous it is.

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Does that “expletive deleted” happen to rhyme with “ducking runt”? If it doesn’t it should.


What books in your opinion best explain the current moment in America?

I don’t know about the current moment, but I feel like Woodward and Bernstein’s “All the President’s Men” may be due for a reprinting in the not-too-distant future.


Technically: Espionage.