In anticipating the return of President Trump from his trip overseas on Sunday, new reports from the Washington Post and Reuters are claiming that the president’s top adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, spoke to Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak about possibly coordinating a secret and secure communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin. As usual, the report cites “anonymous officials.”
Reuters is citing “seven current and former U.S. officials” as saying that Kushner had “at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. Those contacts included two phone calls between April and November 2016.”
Kushner’s attorney, Jamie Gorelick, said that her client has no recollection of the conversations. “Mr. Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time period. 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,” she said.
The Washington Post reportedly used information that was based on “intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials.” They claimed that “Kushner suggested the use of Russian diplomatic facilities as a way to shield pre-inauguration discussions with Kislyak from monitoring. Kislyak allegedly then relayed the suggestion to his superiors in Moscow. The idea was supposedly broached during a meeting between Kushner and Kislyak during an early December meeting at Trump Tower.”
Neither the meetings nor the communications of the Americans involved were under U.S. surveillance, according to the Washington Post’s unnamed officials.
It was also reported by “people familiar with the matter” that President Trump’s former national security adviser, General Michael Flynn, attended the meeting, which was first disclosed in March by the White House. Now, however, the FBI considers the meeting, in addition to another one Kushner had with a Russian banker, to be of interest in the Russian probe that’s currently underway.
Neither the White House, the Russian embassy, or Flynn’s attorney commented on the new information.
A Fox News report stated that Kushner’s meeting was first disclosed to the Washington Post via an anonymous letter in December, which revealed Kushner’s alleged suggestion of the communication channel with Kislyak. “Anonymous officials who reviewed the letter have since told the Washington Post that the section mentioning the secret channel was consistent with their understanding of events.”
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