Kushner 'sought secret communication line with Moscow'
- Author: Leroy Wright May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 10:00
Mr. Kushner allegedly proposed establishing a secure, secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin during a December 2016 meeting with Mr. Kislyak in New York City, the Post reported.
The most recent reports - which cited unnamed US officials as sources - said Kushner had spoken with Moscow's Ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, about setting up a back channel using Russian diplomatic facilities in America.
Kushner discussed using Russian diplomatic properties to prevent United States intelligence services from monitoring communications with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to the Washington Post. The banker, Sergey Gorkov, is the head of VEB Bank, a state-owned Russian entity that is the subject of USA government sanctions.
As Trump and his entourage prepared to return to the USA from Italy on Saturday, McMaster and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn fielded questions at a news briefing about reports that Kushner discussed establishing a backchannel line of communication between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin.
Kushner's lawyer, while not addressing the alleged communications channel, said Kushner would cooperate with any investigations.
The story about the alleged phone calls was reported by Reuters, the day after reports about Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, now being part of a federal investigation into Trump associates allegedly colluding with Russian Federation to win the 2016 White House race.
The news agency anonymously cited current and former USA officials.
A former U.S. 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.
Pressed repeatedly on the matter during a news conference on Saturday that was kept off camera at the White House's insistence, McMaster also said he was not "involved with or have any knowledge of" any attempt on Kushner's part to set up backchannel communications with Moscow.
According to The Washington Post, the Russian Ambassador was alarmed by such a proposal from Kushner, who is now the senior most advisor to President Trump and has played a key role in his trips to Saudi Arabia and Israel and Palestine.
The New York Times said the line was never established.
Kushner's attorney, Jamie Gorelick, told Reuters that her client did not remember any calls with Kislyak between April and November.
The letter was signed by Republican Senator Richard Burr, the committeeâ€™s chairman, and Senator Mark Warner, its top Democrat, according to the Post, which said representatives for Burr and Warner declined to comment.