WaPo: Kushner Asked Russian Envoy To Set Up Secret Moscow Backchannel

Cheryl Sanders
May 27, 2017

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials were astonished that he would have requested a secret back channel, calling it "naive" or "crazy" given the FBI's close tabs on Russian officials in the USA, the Post reported.

This marked the first time the Trump campaign organization has been drawn into the bipartisan committee's investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, it said. Shortly after that report dropped, Reuters claimed that Kushner also had at least three undisclosed meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016.

The Post says the White House and Flynn's lawyer didn't want to comment for their story.

Reports from earlier in the week say Kushner is a person of interest in that probe.

In addition, the White House declined to comment on Friday's report.

"Certification for my SF86 security clearance form", Lieu tweeted alongside a picture of the form. The omissions were described as an "administrative error" by Gorelick, who said additional information about his meetings were provided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation the day after he submitted his incomplete clearance application. "We have asked [Reuters] for the dates of such alleged calls so we may look into it and respond, but we have not received such information", she said.

Kushner had a meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak prior to Trump's White House victory. After Trump took office, Flynn was forced to resign from the administration because of revelations that he had misrepresented his conversations with Kislyak to Vice President Pence. He said the administration has made the wrong decisions on Russia and failed to contain Russian power. Former President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on Russian Federation after it seized Crimea and started supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Kushner has emerged as one of the most important figures in the White House, deep within Donald Trump's inner circle and taking the lead on many initiatives. Reuters was unable to determine how those discussions were conducted or exactly when they took place.

The investigation into Kushner is reportedly centering on meetings he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in April and December 2016.

Separately, there were at least 18 undisclosed calls and emails between Trump associates and Kremlin-linked people in the seven months before the November 8 presidential election, including six calls with Kislyak, sources said earlier this month. This week, officials who reviewed the letter and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence said the portion about the secret channel was consistent with their understanding of events. Flynn is reportedly under investigation, as are, Paul Manafort the former campaign manager and Carter Page a former foreign policy advisor.

Kushner's own real-estate empire has come under fire for its close connection to Russian investments and its possible influencing role on Kushner's decisions.

Flynn was pushed out of the White House in February after officials said he misled Vice President Mike Pence about whether he and the ambassador had discussed US sanctions against Russian Federation in a phone call. The Post cites "U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports".

The alleged proposal was made at a meeting on December 1 or 2 at Trump Tower in NY with Russia's Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, weeks before Trump took office.

The New York Times said the line was never established.

"We know about the multiple meetings of Trump entourage members with Russian intel-related individuals", Carle said.

Other reports by iNewsToday