Homeland Security chief says back-channel talks with Russia would be 'normal...and acceptable'

Secretary John Kelly said multiple lines of communication with nations is good.

All communications gathered through a back channel would be “shared across the government, so it’s not a bad thing to have multiple communication lines" with any country, Kelly said.

Raddatz pressed Kelly about whether it would be OK for these back-channel communications to be conducted using Russian diplomatic facilities, as, according to the Washington Post, Kushner sought.

Kelly continued to insist that any line of communication “to a country like Russia is a good thing," but he said "using their equipment, you know, that ... would be considered to be, you know, kind of somewhat compromised."

“You consider it in terms of its reliability,” Kelly said. “You just have to assume, like in this case, that it’s constructed in a way that they’re trying to get you to do certain things.”

Kelly said the leaks were “outrageous.”

He said that when he called his counterpart in the U.K. to offer condolences over the attack, "She rightfully then said, ‘Thanks for that. Now, the leak.'"

When Raddatz compared these leaks to Trump's reportedly sharing Israeli intelligence with the Russians in an Oval Office meeting earlier this month, Kelly resisted making any comparison.

“It’s my understanding that the White House has pushed back and said [Trump] didn’t do that, so I’ll take him at his word,” Kelly said.