Jared Kushner proposed setting up a secret, secure communications channel between the Kremlin and the Trump transition team, according to The Washington Post.
Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a senior adviser, floated the idea during a meeting with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower in early December, The Post reports, citing U.S. officials who were briefed on intelligence gathered from intercepted Russian communications. The meeting was also attended by Michael Flynn, who served as the White House national security adviser until he was forced to step down for failing to properly disclose contacts with Russian officials and discussions pertaining to sanctions.
Kislyak told his superiors Kushner proposed using Russian diplomatic facilities in the U.S., the officials briefed on the intelligence told The Washington Post. Kislyak was reportedly surprised at the suggestion. The use of Russian communications equipment he said Kushner proposed using carried security risks for both Russia and the Trump transition team.
U.S. officials stressed that the information on Kushner’s meetings is the result of intelligence collected from Russian officials, not surveillance of Kushner or any member of the Trump transition team. “Russia at times feeds false information into communication streams it suspects are monitored as a way of sowing misinformation and confusion among U.S. analysts,” The Washington Post acknowledged in its report Friday.
The meeting with Kislyak, which Kushner failed to disclose, was revealed in March. The Post was first alerted to the meeting and the possibility of a secret communications channel in mid-December by an anonymous letter.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that investigators are looking into several meetings between Kushner and foreign officials as part of a broader investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings,” Jamie Gorelick, one of Kushner’s attorneys told The Post. “He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry.”
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