Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Jared Kushner proposed secret communications with Russian Federation


On Friday, the Washington Post reported that Mr Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner spoke to Russia's ambassador to the USA about setting up secret communications with Moscow.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster said Saturday that he is "not concerned" with a report alleging that President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, asked Russia's ambassador about setting up a secret communications channel with the Kremlin.

The information, which Kislyak relayed to Moscow after their meeting on December 1 or 2, was intercepted by the United States intelligence agencies, the daily said quoting an unnamed United States official briefed on intelligence reports.

Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has hit headlines recently as a newly appointed special council is beginning its investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, with Kushner a focus of the probe - according to the Washington Post.

Kushner has offered to talk to Congress about these meetings, according to his lawyer Jamie Gorelick.

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General Flynn was forced to resign in February after it emerged that he had misled other administration officials about the extent of his contacts with Mr Kislyak.

The meeting, as well as the communications of Americans involved, were not under USA surveillance, according to the Post. The bank is under US sanctions and was implicated in a 2015 espionage case in which one of its NY executives pleaded guilty to spying and was jailed.

Allegations the Trump campaign and Russian authorities were in contact throughout the American election campaign has led to federal investigators and congressional committees looking into what influence the Kremlin had on the result and if it contributed to Hilary Clinton losing. Reuters further reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation declined comment, and the Russian embassy reiterated their policy of not commenting on "individual diplomatic contacts".

According to the person familiar with the Kushner meeting, the Trump team eventually felt there was no need for a back channel once Rex Tillerson was confirmed as secretary of state, and chose to communicate with Moscow through more official channels.

Neither The White House nor Flynn would comment on the story to The Post.

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The Senate panel's request marked the first time Trump's campaign organization has been drawn into the bipartisan committee's investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, the report said.

It is unclear who first proposed the communications channel, but the people familiar with the meeting said that the idea was to have Flynn speak directly with a senior military official in Moscow to discuss Syria and other security issues.

In response to repeated questions from reporters, Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn said, "We're not "We're not going to comment on Jared".

Mr Kushner, who is married to the president's daughter, Ivanka, has said he will co-operate with any investigation. And Jeff Sessions, Mr. Trump's attorney general and former campaign surrogate, claimed to recuse himself from federal matters related to Russian Federation in March after he admittedly met twice with Mr. Kislyak in 2016 but failed to disclose those interactions during his confirmation hearing in January.

Reports swirling about Kushner and back channel with Russia
Additionally, the official asked how Kushner would be sure the Russians wouldn't leak the communications themselves. His lawyer later said it was a mistake, telling the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he would amend the forms.


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