Kushner asked to 'lay low' amid Russian interference reports
- Author: Leroy Wright May 31, 2017,
May 31, 2017, 8:27
Kushner has become a key figure in the ongoing controversy, with reports stating he asked Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to set up a back-channel communication system between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin, run from Russia's diplomatic facilities in the United States in order to circumvent USA monitoring.
Reuters, meanwhile, citing seven unnamed current and former U.S. officials, reported Friday that Kushner had at least three contacts with the Russian ambassador that he did not previously disclose, including some during the campaign. There are, moreover, many precedents for back channel, secret talks with foreign countries by incoming administrations and even presidential campaigns prior to Election Day.
U.S. President Donald Trump has been aggressively working the phones since returning this weekend from his foreign trip, talking to friends and outside lawyers as he obsesses over the deepening investigations into his aides and Russian Federation.
Washington is waiting with bated breath for Senate testimony by former FBI director James Comey, who was sacked by Trump as he oversaw an investigation into possible collusion between the Republican's campaign and Moscow.
There is little that separates the Democrats from Trump when it comes to savage cuts in social programs and new windfalls for the rich.
Before departing Italy for the U.S., White House officials refused to address the reports about Kushner.
White House sources told NBC News that Mr Kushner has now been advised to "lay low" while news about the FBI investigation continues to make headlines. "I know of no other experience like this in our history, certainly within my life experience". "I'm not talking about anything else".
Gorkov is the head of Vnesheconombank, a state-owned Russian entity that is the subject of US government sanctions.
Kushner reportedly flew home Thursday from Rome with his wife, Ivanka Trump, and arrived in his West Wing office on Friday to meet with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to discuss the presidential trip.
The wider investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling is being led by Robert Mueller, a respected former FBI director who was given broad powers to pursue the case as a special counsel.
"They discussed existing practices of the development bank's work, promising areas and industries", he said in the statement, which was written in Russian.
Kushner spoke with Kislyak in December about exploring the incoming administration's options with Russian Federation as it developed its Syria policy. At NATO and G7 summits last week, European leaders bristled over President Trump's refusal to flatly endorse NATO's collective defense doctrine promise to stick to the Paris climate accord, plus his lecturing Europeans over NATO defense spending. Trump worked the phones with various lawyers and advisers on Sunday, one of the White House officials said. He has denied any wrongdoing. "I have total confidence in him". He has not played a diplomatic role for Putin, which prompted questions about why he was meeting with Kushner during the transition, according to the Times, which cited current and former officials in its report. And the search continues for an Federal Bureau of Investigation director to replace Comey.