Trump aides keep mum on Kushner-Russia reports
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 27, 2017,
May 27, 2017, 20:46
Six of the sources said there were multiple contacts between Kushner and Kislyak but declined to give details beyond the two phone calls between April and November and the post-election conversation about setting up a back channel.
The White House in March confirmed that Kushner and Kislyak met at Trump Tower in December for what one official called a brief courtesy meeting.
"We have back-channel communications with any number of individual (countries)". He says the final document reflects that other countries respect the US decision to take more time before making a final decision.
A White House spokesperson had no immediate comment.
But first Trump has one more day in Sicily, which will include discussions of global economy and climate, a meeting with small African nations - Trump will be seated between the leaders of Niger and Tunisia - and migration issues.
The FBI is investigating possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation in connection with Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 election, reports USA Today.
Current and former American officials said Kushner's activities, like those of many others around Trump, are under scrutiny as part of the investigation.
As a result, Comey acted unilaterally previous year to publicly declare the investigation over without consulting then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, while at the same time stating that Clinton had been "extremely careless" in her handling of classified information, the sources said late Friday.
Investigators are also interested in a meeting Kushner had with the Russian banker, Sergey Gorkov, according to reports from The Post and NBC News. In Russian communications intercepted by the U.S., Kislyak said Kushner proposed establishing this workaround and using equipment available in stateside Russian diplomatic facilities.
Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has hit headlines recently as a newly appointed special council is beginning its investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, with Kushner a focus of the probe - according to the Washington Post.
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. During the presidential campaign, he frequently criticized the Obama administration's Syria policy as unnecessarily antagonistic toward Russian Federation.
The idea was to have Flynn speak directly with a senior military official in Moscow to discuss Syria and other security issues, the New York Times reported, citing officials. Neither side followed up on it.
Caveat: His lawyer said it was a mistake, and Kushner corrected it after the New York Times reported it.
Sergey Kislyak, Russian Ambassador to the USA, is at the heart of the furore.
Reince Priebus could be the next Trump administration official implicated in what appears to be a White House cover-up.
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. Former President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on Russian Federation after it seized Crimea and started supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Then, during a May 10 Oval Office meeting with Mr. Kislyak and the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, Mr. Trump disclosed highly classified intelligence about the Islamic State to the Russians.
The controversy has engulfed Trump's administration since he fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9. He had not held the position for even one full month before being forced to resign on February 13, 2017, after it was revealed that he gave "incomplete information" on the extent of his contact with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the United States.
Trump has been frustrated of late that his communications team hasn't done a more effective job at making the case that he isn't implicated in the Russian Federation probe and highlighting his administration's successes, sources close to the president said.