AP Report: Reports swirling about Kushner and Russian Federation probe
- Author: Leroy Wright May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 6:42
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 USA officials briefed on intelligence reports.
The conversation between Jared Kushner and the ambassador took place during a meeting at Trump Tower that Trump's presidential transition team did not acknowledge at the time. The report cited three current and former United States officials who weren't identified.
"We have backchannel communications with a number of countries", McMaster told reporters at the G7 summit in Sicily.
Such a line of communication would have allowed Kushner and Flynn to talk securely with Russian military officials, but it never was actually set up, the source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to CNN. Attorney-General Jeff Sessions recused himself from matters related to the Russia investigation after it was revealed that he had failed to disclose his own meetings with Mr Kislyak when asked during congressional testimony about any contact with Russians.
You can listen to McMaster's remarks above, via MSNBC.
Officials in the White House have also believed to have held discussions about setting up a "War Room" to shield the day-to-day running of the presidency from the various investigations underway.
Trump has denied any collusion with Russian Federation, calling the probe "the greatest witch hunt" in American political history. There's no indication Kushner, 36, has been designated a target of the probe.
Kushner's involvement in the proposed back channel was first reported by The Washington Post, which said he proposed using Russian diplomatic facilities for the discussions, apparently to make them more hard to monitor.
The DNC, not needing any evidence of wrongdoing beyond anonymously-sourced reports and assumptions of bad intentions, has called for Trump to fire Kushner immediately.
Current and former American officials said Mr. Kushner's activities, like those of many others around Mr. Trump, are under scrutiny as part of the investigation. "We have asked [REUTERS ] for the dates of such alleged calls so we may look into it and respond, but we have not received such information".
A former USA ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation who has served in both Bush administrations and under President Clinton issued a strong rebuke Friday night of President Trump's relationship with Russian Federation.
Kushner was a trusted Trump adviser a year ago, overseeing the campaign's digital strategy, and remains an influential confidant within the White House as does his wife, Ivanka Trump.
Evan McMullin, an independent candidate in the 2016 presidential race, said the report raised the stakes for Mr Kushner.
Kislyak told higher-ups in Moscow that Kushner's proposal came as a surprise to him, the report said.
It is clear that the Trump team are not looking to add to the reports over the actions of Mr Kushner, with top Trump aides making clear on Saturday that they would not address the contents of Mr Kushner's December meeting with the Russian diplomat.
Kushner is under investigation for the "extent and nature" of his interaction with Russian officials, The Washington Post reported.
Indeed, once McMaster and Cohn called an end to their briefing, which lasted about a half-hour, Spicer and other administration spokespeople hurried out of the room.
Reuters reported at least two more previously undisclosed contacts - both phone calls between April and December. At these calls, Kislyak didn't just discuss security issues like Syria but also the need to improve relations between Russian Federation and the United States following the sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama. "How would he trust that the Russians would not leak it on their side?"