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US Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly testifies during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. | Getty Images

Homeland Security chief Kelly defends Jared Kushner before Congress

SHARE Homeland Security chief Kelly defends Jared Kushner before Congress
SHARE Homeland Security chief Kelly defends Jared Kushner before Congress

WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Tuesday defended top White House adviser Jared Kushner amid reports that Kushner attempted to establish a “back-channel” communication between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential transition team.

Under Democratic questioning, Kelly said “we have to make the assumption — and I will — that Jared Kushner is a great American.” He said back-channel talks have been common in U.S. diplomacy.

Still, Kelly noted the matter is under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his probe into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Kelly told Montana Sen. Jon Tester that “It’s part of the Bob Mueller investigation,” and the subject of congressional probes.

Tester said he believes the conduct of the president’s son-in-law is “unacceptable” and asked Kelly “to find out what the hell is going on.”

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