Kushner proposed secret communication channel with Kremlin, Washington Post reports
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 27, 2017,
May 27, 2017, 15:12
Kushner, then and now an adviser to Trump, went so far as to suggest using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States to protect such a channel from being monitored, the Post said, quoting U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.
The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race, has asked United States President Donald Trump's political organisation to gather and produce all Russia-related documents, emails and phone records going back to his campaign's launch in June 2015, according to two people briefed on the request.
For his part, Kushner has said he would cooperate with the FBI's investigation.
Mr Kushner initially had come to the attention of FBI investigators previous year as they began scrutinising former national security adviser Michael Flynn's connections with Russian officials, the two sources said.
The Post goes on to say that the White House downplayed the meeting's significance but that "people familiar with the matter say the Federal Bureau of Investigation now considers the encounter, as well as another meeting Kushner had with a Russian banker, to be of investigative interest".
On Thursday, it was reported that Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump's husband and an adviser to President Donald Trump, was being looked into as part of the Russian Federation investigation by the FBI. The National Security Agency, meanwhile, monitors Russian officials communications overseas.
Kushner's impact grew during the transition, which one source says he effectively ran - along with another campaign aide Rick Dearborn - once New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was removed.
Both those meetings have since been publicly acknowledged by the White House, but Kushner initially failed to declare them on forms submitted to obtain a security clearance. But, the paper said, officials who looked at the letter this week said they had the same info on the secret-channel conversation.
The focus on Kushner will be one of the first issues confronting Trump when he returns from his first overseas trip as president this weekend.
Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, is the only current White House official known to be considered a key figure in the probe, which is targeting other members of Trump's campaign team.
Kushner's own real-estate empire has come under fire for its close connection to Russian investments and its possible influencing role on Kushner's decisions.
Kushner's apparent interest in establishing a secret channel with Moscow, rather than relying on USA government systems, has added to the intrigue surrounding the Trump administration's relationship with Russian Federation.
"Mr. Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time period", Kushner's attorney, Jamie Gorelick, said in response.
The opposition Democratic party urged Trump to fire Kushner.
Comey's firing, together with Trump's reported repeated efforts to persuade senior politicians, justice and intelligence officials to help push back against the probe, have brought accusations that he is obstructing the investigation.