Top Trump advisers dodge questions about Kushner's Russia contacts
May 28 2017 by Joanne Wise
"But people familiar with the matter say the Federal Bureau of Investigation now considers the encounter, as well as another meeting Kushner had with a Russian banker, to be of investigative interest", the daily reported.
"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 told Reuters earlier this month". Officials may be less interested in what he did and mor...
"In addition to their discussion about setting up the communications channel, Kushner, Flynn and Kislyak also talked about arranging a meeting between a representative of Trump and a "Russian contact" in a third country whose name was not identified, according to the anonymous letter".
The Post previously reported that investigators are focusing on meetings he held in December with Kislyak and the head of a Russian bank that has been under United States sanctions since 2014.
Kushner's lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, told CNN in response to the Reutersreport: "Mr. Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time period".
Trump's advisers are planning to establish a "war room" to combat mounting questions about communication between Russian Federation and his presidential campaign before and after November's presidential election, while bringing new aides into the White House, administration officials and persons close to Trump told Reuters.
The details were shared with CNN as an explanation to The Washington Post reporting, which it said was based on intercepts of conversations between Russia's ambassador and Moscow.
According to a report by Washington post, Kushner is being investigated because of his meetings in December and other possible interactions with the Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak and a banker from Moscow.
The Washington Post article did not say what came of Kushner's proposal. He urged reporters to instead ask him about foreign policy and national security issues that would have come up during the President's first foreign trip, which has been dogged by the incessant flow of new allegations surrounding the President's campaign associates' contacts with Russian officials.
Besides the Kushner developments, which strikes at Trump's core by drawing his family into the crisis, the White House also faces a cascade of other worries in the coming week.
The backchannel would also have been unusual as it would have used Russian hardware at its embassies in the U.S., the report added. The FBI closely monitors communications of Russian officials in the USA, and it consistently surveils Russia's diplomatic facilities.
"How would he trust that the Russians wouldn't leak it on their side?" said one former senior intelligence official. The bank has been under USA sanctions since 2014.
The discussion of a secret channel adds to a broader pattern of efforts by Mr Trump's closest advisers to obscure their contacts with Russian counterparts. A source close to Kushner denied that he pushed for Flynn. "Sometimes they do so in order to see if the Americans are in that channel".
Kushner has acknowledged meeting during the transition with Russia's ambassador and separately with the head of a Russian bank.
Speaking broadly speaking about Trump's foreign trip, Cohn said the "the president was able to make some of the most incredible deals that have been made by an administration ever".
There may not have been anything improper about the contacts, the current law enforcement official stressed.
The contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials during the presidential campaign coincided with what U.S. 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.