Kushner asked Russian ambassador for back channel on Syria and other policy matters

Communications about the request were intercepted and reviewed by U.S. officials

— -- President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner talked with the Russian ambassador in December about establishing a back channel for communications, ABC News has learned from two sources.

The sources stress that the talk between Kushner and the Russian envoy about communications was focused on the U.S. response to the crisis in Syria and other policy-related matters.

The meeting, as ABC News has reported previously, took place at Trump Tower in New York and was also attended by Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who later became President Trump's short-lived national security adviser.

The Washington Post was the first to report that Kushner wanted to set up a secret back channel to communicate with Russian officials during the transition period between the election and Trump's inauguration.

The Post report cited communications intercepted by U.S. intelligence officials as Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow.

Russia occasionally attempts to deliberately disclose misleading information when it believes it is being monitored, allowing for the possibility that the request from Kushner did not actually occur, the Post story noted.

Reuters also reported Friday that Kushner had two phone calls with Kislyak before the election last year that he had not disclosed.

"Mr. Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time period," Kushner's attorney, Jamie Gorelick, said in response. "He has no recollection of the calls as described. We have asked (Reuters) for the dates of such alleged calls so we may look into it and respond, but we have not received such information."

On CNN on Saturday, a former director of the National Security Agency and the CIA, Gen. Michael Hayden, called Kushner’s request for a communications back channel “off the map."

“What manner of ignorance, chaos, hubris, suspicion, contempt, would you have to have to think that doing this with the Russian ambassador was a good or appropriate idea?” Hayden said.

“This is off the map,” Hayden said. “I know of no other experience like this in our history, certainly within my life experience.”