FBI's Probe Into Russian Meddling Sets Sight On Kushner

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's adviser and son-in-law, reportedly discussed opening a secret communication channel between the administration's transition team and the Russian government, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are also investigating Michael Flynn, who served as national security adviser for 24 days before being fired over undisclosed meetings with Mr Kislyak, and Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman.

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 U.S. official briefed on intelligence reports.

Reuters, citing seven current and former us officials, reported Friday that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak during and after the presidential campaign. Before he left, the Justice Department appointed former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the probe, which is focused on any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the election and may also include looking into the firing of Comey earlier this month.

Michael Flynn, President Trump's former National Security Adviser, also attended the meeting. Also unclear is what precisely about Kushner's activities has drawn the FBI's interest as it investigates whether Trump associates coordinated with the Russian campaign to interfere in the election.

While the FBI is investigating Mr Kushner'€™s contacts with Russian Federation, he is not now a target of that investigation, the current law enforcement official said.

On Thursday, NBC News reported Mr Kushner was under scrutiny by the FBI - the first sign the investigation, which began last July, had reached the president's inner circle.

The White House didn't respond to a request for comment.

The FBI and the oversight committee - as well as several other congressional panels - are looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The controversy has spilled beyond the political circles of Washington, with USA stock markets selling off strongly when Trump's Russian Federation revelations were first reported.

Kushner, who is married to the president's daughter, Ivanka, has said he will cooperate with any investigation. "Kushner's security clearance should be suspended until the FBI's findings are complete".

Trump has denied any collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation, calling the probe "the greatest witch hunt" in American political history.

On Kushner's talk with Kislyak, the White House said in March: "The two spoke about potentially establishing a more open line of communication in the future". Trump's first national security adviser, Flynn, was forced to resign after a series of false statements about his conversations with Kislyak.

"Mr Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings", Jamie Gorelick, one of his attorneys, said in a statement.

"The FBI's Russian Federation investigation reached Trump's backyard, and now it's in his house", Democratic National Committee Deputy Communications Director Adrienne Watson said in a statement released Thursday.

Caveat: His lawyer said it was a mistake, and Kushner corrected it after the New York Times reported it.

  • Zachary Reyes