Donald Trump's son-in-law under Federal Bureau of Investigation radar in Russian Federation probe
- Author: Leroy Wright May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 9:52
Donald Trumps influential son- in-law Jared Kushner allegedly wanted to have a secret and secure communications channel with the Russians weeks after the USA presidential polls, according to media reports today.
While the Post was notified of the incident via an anonymous letter in December and the White House disclosed and downplayed the meeting in March, U.S. officials have verified that talks of the secret channel are consistent with their understanding of events.
The Washington Post reported on Friday that, according to Kislyak's account of the conversation as he relayed it to his bosses in Moscow, Kushner proposed the private line during a meeting either on December 1 or 2 at Trump Tower.
The first from the New York Times said that Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch once close to Paul Manafort, Mr Trump's former campaign manager, offered to cooperate with congressional committees investigating Russian meddling in return for immunity. Flynn was forced to resign in February amid revelations that he had misled Vice President Pence about the nature of conversations he had with Kislyak in the month before Trump took office.
If he were a "target", it would suggest Kushner was a main suspect of the investigation.
But when asked if he would be concerned to learn that someone within the administration was seeking to establish back-channel communications with Russia, McMaster answered no. And less than two weeks later, the idea was dropped, said the report. Kushner's attorney said that was a mere error and he told the Federal Bureau of Investigation soon after that he would amend the forms.
The Associated Press has learned that Kushner spoke with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. - Sergey Kislyak - about creating the secret line to make it easier to hold sensitive discussions about the conflict in Syria.
Russia, at times, feeds false information into communication streams it suspects are monitored as a way of sowing misinformation and confusion among USA analysts.
The contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials during the presidential campaign coincided with what USA intelligence agencies concluded was a Kremlin effort through computer hacking, fake news and propaganda to boost Trump's chances of winning the White House and damage his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Kushner's attorney, Jamie Gorelick, said Kushner did not remember any calls with Kislyak between April and November.
He warned that "Russia is a dark cloud hanging over this administration" and urged the Trump White House to cooperate with the Russian Federation investigations because "they have to understand this administration is under siege, and will be, in terms of public opinion, and in terms of the law, until all these questions are answered".
While much remained fluid Saturday, the beefed-up operation could include the return of some of Trump's more combative campaign aides, including former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was sacked almost a year ago, and former deputy campaign manager David Bossie, who made his name in politics by investigating former President Bill and Hillary Clinton for two decades.
Reports in the USA say investigators believe he has relevant information, but he is not necessarily suspected of a crime. She also said allegations of Russian meddling in United States elections are part of a well-thought out "smear campaign" that has nothing to do with reality.