Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Top Trump advisers dodge questions about Kushner's Russian Federation contacts


The Post said Kislyak reportedly was taken aback by the idea of having an American use Russian communications equipment at one of its facilities because it could have involved security risks for both Americans and Russians. One official told the website that the prospect of those notes' release had prompted Priebus to engage in "nervous laughter".

The revelation, if confirmed, would raise new questions about the Trump team's relationship with the Russians, who USA intelligence agencies say tried to sway the November election in Trump's favor.

The FBI is now investigating the probable meddling by Russia in the 2016 US election and links between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian officials seeking to influence the election. Both law enforcement officials declined to do so.

Michael Flynn, who was Trump's national security adviser for just 24 days before being fired amid questions about meetings he held with the Russian ambassador, was also present, the newspaper reported.

Seven sources close to the White House asserted that Kushner had contacts with the Russian ambassador during and after 2016 Trump campaign.

Kushner is said to have discussed with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak the possibility of establishing a direct and secure conduit for communication between Moscow and Trump's transition team, established after Trump won the 2016 presidential election, the Washington Post reported on Friday. Mr Trump campaign's data analytics operation was supervised by Mr Kushner. Senior staffers, including Priebus, are anxious that the Federal Bureau of Investigation director - fired May 9 by the president over what he has said were concerns over the Russian Federation probe - could leak or produce even more damning memos about White House officials. A DNC statement said: "The FBI's Russian Federation investigation reached Trump's backyard, and now it's in his house".

Travis Gettys is an editor for Raw Story.

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For instance, according to those officials and the letter, Kushner conveyed to the Russians that he was aware it would be politically sensitive to meet publicly, but it was necessary for the Trump team to be able to continue their communication with Russian government officials.

Flynn was sacked in February after officials said he misled Vice-President Mike Pence about whether he and the ambassador had discussed USA sanctions against Russian Federation in a phone call. "He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry", said Jamie Gorelick, his attorney.

"Mr. Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time period". He has no recollection of the calls as described.

"In addition to their discussion about setting up the communications channel, Kushner, Flynn and Kislyak also talked about arranging a meeting between a representative of Trump and a "Russian contact" in a third country whose name was not identified, according to the anonymous letter", the Post reported.

"Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings".

Another potential line of inquiry could concern Kushner's failure to disclose some of his contacts with Russian government officials when he was filling out his application for a security clearance. In some cases, people can lose their security clearances and jobs for not properly disclosing foreign contacts.

Regarding Kushner, former FBI agent Jim Treacy said Friday: "If there is an investigation on anybody, would other folks around that person be of interest to the FBI as far as being interviewed?"

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