Reports swirling about Kushner and Russian Federation probe — AP Report
- Author: Carolyn Briggs May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 9:38
Those contacts allegedly included two phone calls between April and November 2016.
When The Washington Post broke an explosive report in which intelligence officials alleged that Trump shared highly-classified information with Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting, McMaster went in front of cameras to call the story false as reported and to defend the president's actions as "wholly appropriate".
"Just when you think you have heard something that's dramatic and mind-boggling something else happens, and that's what comes with investigations", he said.
Kushner, a senior White House aide, has not commented.
Through his attorney, Kushner said he didn't remember any calls with Kislyak. "He has no recollection of the calls as described", Jamie Gorelick said.
That remark came after more than one question from the press about the president's son-in-law, who has broad influence in the White House and is under scrutiny in the FBI investigation of any Russian election meddling or ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. Mr Trump campaign's data analytics operation was supervised by Mr Kushner. The White House did not acknowledge any other contacts between Kushner and Russian officials.
Mr Kushner has said he did not discuss sanctions with Mr Gorkov. Flynn apparently would have been the USA point person, the source said.
Both the Washington Post and the New York Times report Kushner wanted to set up the back channel to avoid surveillance by U.S secret services.
When are back channels suspicious? He even employed an informal committee to engage in these kinds of communications, known as the Washington Special Action Group.
Former acting Central Intelligence Agency director John McLaughlan said if such reports are true, Kushner's behavior would be considered espionage. Reuters previously reported only Flynn's involvement in those discussions.
"We have back-channel communications with a number of countries", he said.
President Richard Nixon was also a big fan of back-channels for communicating with more hostile foreign governments like Russian Federation and China in moments of crises. The sources said the information was detected through intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by USA officials.
"The next question is whether the president authorized this, because no one stands between Trump and Kushner in the chain of command". "In other news, water is wet".
Officials familiar with intelligence on contacts between the Russians and Trump advisers said that so far they have not seen evidence of any wrongdoing or collusion between the Trump camp and the Kremlin.
There may not have been anything improper about the contacts, the current law enforcement official stressed.
"This one incident requires Jared Kushner and all of his immediate staff to have their clearances pulled right now and to have the Federal Bureau of Investigation descend on there and to determine whether this is hostile intelligence in the White House one step from the president", Nance said.
Federal investigators and several congressional committees are looking into any connections between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, including allegations that there may have been collaboration to help Trump and harm his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.