Kushner Proposed a Secret Communications Channel To The Kremlin: Report
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner reportedly talked with a top Russian official in early December about establishing a private communications channel between President Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, The Washington Post reports.
According to the report, ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.
The president’s son-in-law and senior adviser inquired about using Russian diplomatic facilities for the communications, apparently to shield the talks, U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports told The Washington Post.
Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak told his superiors that Kushner proposed the idea during a meeting at Trump Tower on Dec. 1 or 2, according to the Post, which cited intercepts of Russian communications reviewed by U.S. officials.
Kislyak was reportedly taken aback by the proposal of allowing an American to use Russian communications equipment, which the Post noted could have carried security risks for both the Trump transition team and Moscow.
Michael Flynn, whom Trump had already tapped to serve as national security adviser at the time, reportedly attended the meeting.
Kushner is under scrutiny in the FBI’s ongoing investigation into whether Trump campaign officials colluded with the Russians, The Washington Post and NBC News reported this week.
The FBI is interested in the details of Kushner’s meeting with Kislyak, a meeting that the White House first disclosed in March.
Officials told the Post that knowledge of the discussion came because of communication surveillance on the Russians, not on the meeting or U.S. citizens.
The White House declined to comment. Robert Kelner, a lawyer for Flynn, declined to comment. The Russian Embassy did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.
The White House declined the Post’s request for comment as did Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner. The Russian embassy did not respond the outlet’s requests for comment.