Published: Sat, May 27, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Trump's son-in-law Kushner under Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutiny in Russian Federation probe

Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington allegedly discussed setting up a secret communications channel to cloak contacts between Moscow and Donald Trump's White House transition team, it was reported.

The report, citing anonymous United States officials briefed on intelligence reports on intercepted Russian communications, said ambassador Sergei Kislyak had been "taken aback" by the suggestion.

Kushner also reportedly asked whether he or other members of the Trump team could use Russian diplomatic facilities in the conduct those communications. One source told Reuters that two of the contacts were phone calls between April and November, 2016.

Kushner initially had come to the attention of FBI investigators a year ago as they began scrutinizing former national security adviser Michael Flynn's connections with Russian officials, the two sources said.

Kushner's activities are under investigation as part of the FBI's ongoing probe into claims of collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government.

News media report that the FBI is investigating meetings Kushner had in December with Russian officials.

Flynn - whom NBC reports is formally considered a subject of the investigation - also attended the December meeting with Kushner and Kislyak, according to the Post. "He has no recollection of the calls as described", she said.

Kushner is one of Trump's most trusted advisers and has been tasked with myriad policy issues in the White House.

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Trump's campaign committee, based at Trump Tower in NY, is now led by Michael Glassner, a former deputy campaign manager, and John Pence, a nephew of Vice President Mike Pence, the Post said. Even Kislyak was gobsmacked by Kushner's risky proposition, the paper said.

US intelligence agencies first learned about the discussion several months ago, according to a senior USA official who had been briefed on intelligence reports.

The New York Times said the line was never established.

Kushner has already volunteered to speak with Congress about those meetings, and his attorney says he's willing to cooperate with any additional investigations.

According to officials who spoke to the Post, while Russian Federation frequently sends out misinformation, it's not clear what leaking this information would accomplish, "particularly at a time when the Kremlin still saw the prospect of dramatically improved relations with Trump", lending to its credibility.

'What they'll be focusing on most strongly is Jared Kushner's meeting back in December with the Russian ambassador.

A person in close contact with the White House has argued, according to Reuters, that a mechanism is needed that focuses on the "new reality" that has emerged with continued leakage of information to the media by federal security agencies.

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