BREAKING: Kushner Is Under Criminal Investigation Over Russia Election Hack
In an extraordinary turn of events, U.S. authorities have revealed that President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is now the focus of the FBI’s criminal probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
According to CNN, points of focus that pertain to Kushner include: the Trump campaign’s 2016 data analytics operation; his relationship with former national security adviser Michael Flynn; and Kushner’s own contacts with Russians, according to US officials briefed on the probe.
The network reported that the FBI has collected data on computer bots, programs that perform repetitive functions like searches, allegedly linked to Russia that helped target and push negative information on Hillary Clinton and positive information on Donald Trump through Facebook and other social media, the officials say.
Federal investigators have been taking a closer look at the Trump campaign’s data analytics operation, which was supervised by Kushner, officials say, and are examining whether Russian operatives used people associated with the campaign —wittingly or unwittingly— to try to help Russia’s own data targeting.
According to the report, Kushner worked with and helped oversee the campaign’s data operation contractors based in San Antonio, Texas.
Trump’s son-in-law has described how, beginning last June, he began testing the use of data targeting to sell Trump merchandise. Eventually, according to a November Forbes magazine profile, the data operation helped the Trump campaign figure out where the candidate’s message was resonating in states like Michigan and Wisconsin, places where conventional political wisdom suggested they would be wasting time and money.
The FBI focus on Flynn also touches on Kushner because he led the presidential transition’s foreign policy efforts.
Kushner’s impact grew during the transition, which one source says he effectively ran — along with another campaign aide Rick Dearborn — once New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was removed.
This source says both Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump wanted Flynn in as national security adviser and Kushner has acknowledged meeting during the transition with Russia’s ambassador and separately with the head of a Russian bank. Those meetings are of interest to the FBI.
The White House referred calls to Kushner’s attorney.