President Donald Trump speaks on the phone from the Oval Office of the White House.

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone from the Oval Office of the White House.

Backchannels, or secret lines of communication, are often used by the White House as diplomatic tools. But they’re also a way around intelligence agencies, which raises questions about why White House adviser (and President Trump’s son-in-law) Jared Kushner attempted to create a backchannel with Russia before Trump transitioned into office. Trump himself has also reportedly offered up his personal cell phone number to world leaders. What are the national security concerns around private communications with other countries?

Guests

  • David Sanger National security correspondent, The New York Times; author, "Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power."

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