Kushner, Russians discussed secret communication link

Cheryl Sanders
May 27, 2017

Ambassador Nicholas Burns' criticism came after a Washington Post report that Russia's ambassador told Moscow that Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, sought to set up a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin.

The Washington Post reported that according to the US officials briefed on intelligence reports of Russia probe, Kushner and Russian ambassador to Washington Sergei Kislyak discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel.

The president also said he needs to continue to discuss climate change with leaders before making a decision whether to pull the US out of the 2015 Paris Accord aimed at curbing global carbon emissions.

In the days after the meeting with Kislyak, Kushner had a separate meeting with Sergey N. Gorkov, a Russian banker with close ties to President Vladimir Putin.

That was based on intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by US officials, although neither the meeting nor the communications of the Americans involved were under USA surveillance, officials told the Post.

Reuters has reported that Comey kept a detailed record of a meeting with the president before his dismissal in which Trump asked Comey to end the investigation into former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The Trump administration "disclosed the fact of the meeting only in March, playing down its significance", according to the report.

One White House aide told reporters that he knows that Jared Kushner is now "f-ed" at this point, so take that for what it's worth. The White House did not respond to a request for comment. This prompted investigators to ask US intelligence agencies to reveal the names of the Americans, the current USA law enforcement official said. The National Security Agency monitors the communications of Russian officials overseas.

Is Jared Kushner the middleman between Russian Federation and the USA responsible for Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 election?

Kushner is "under Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutiny" in the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any possible ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow, according to NBC News.

The daily alleged that the discussion of a secret channel adds to a broader pattern of efforts by Trump's closest advisers to obscure their contacts with Russian counterparts.

Upon Trump's return from a nine-day overseas trip, the administration will add political professionals and possibly lawyers to handle the Russian Federation probe, which has gained new urgency since the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to head the investigation.

The report will likely put Kushner, who is now a senior White House adviser, under heightened scrutiny in the investigations into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation.

Politico calls Kushner a "shadow secretary of state" in the Trump administration.

Leaders of seven wealthy democracies have reached a deal to give the Trump administration more time to tell them whether the United States plans to stay in the Paris climate agreement.

The Associated Press reported Saturday morning that the G7 final declaration says the U.S.is "not in a position to join consensus" on climate change.

The shift in the FBI's focus to Kushner in the Russian Federation probe is bringing investigators to Trump's inner circle, which could - in theory - lay the groundwork for additional pressure on Trump, whose potential impeachment offenses continue to mount.

The contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials during the presidential campaign coincided with what US intelligence agencies concluded was a Kremlin effort through computer hacking, fake news and propaganda to boost Trump's chances of winning the White House and damage his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

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