Axios reported that he offered to stay until end of the president's first overseas trip as USA leader.
That article quoted a White House spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, who said that the meeting came at the request of the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, with whom Kushner had met earlier in December at Trump Tower to discuss opening a communications channel with Russian officials during the presidential transition.
Soon afterward, he tweeted: "Russian officials must be laughing at the USA & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News".
Trump was meeting with attorneys at the White House on Sunday, presumably over the latest development in the long-running Russian Federation intelligence saga, news reports said. And after getting settled back in Washington, Trump was quick to praise a bit of good, though not surprising, news he received while overseas: a Republican victory in a special election to fill a vacant House seat in Montana. It is not clear when his last day will be.
Priebus and White House adviser Steve Bannon have been laying the groundwork for the new "war room" that will also involve Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, sources told Reuters. National security adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters on Saturday that so-called back-channeling was not unusual.
"Trump's first foreign trip was a huge success", tweeted White House spokesman Michael Short.
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said it was "obviously very concerning" if a key Trump campaign figure was possibly seeking secret communications during the transition period with a country that intelligence experts say intervened in the 2016 US presidential election.
It's been just a few days since news surfaced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the role Kushner held during the campaign and transition, including his contacts with Russian officials, his role in the campaign's data analytics operation, and his relationship with former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
"There's obviously something going on here", Kornbluh says, "and I think you'll note that none of the White House spokespeople who've come out this weekend to talk about it have actually denied that this took place".
His comments were echoed by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
"It is my opinion that numerous leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies", Trump tweeted.
According to U.S. media, the secret line was never established.
That campaign spirit could be back in full view in the coming weeks, as well, with one official telling NBC News that Trump is expected to get back on the road and to the rallies he so loves, using them to bolster his agenda on key issues like tax reform and health care. "You have to ask, well, who are they hiding the conversation from?" he said on ABC.