Reuters: Kushner Had Undisclosed Contacts With Russian Ambassador

Andrew Harnik/AP
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President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner failed to disclose at least three additional contacts he had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Reuters reported Friday.

Seven current and former U.S. officials who spoke to Reuters said these conversations between Kushner and Sergei Kislyak included two phone calls between April and November 2016.

This news came hours after a Friday night bombshell in the Washington Post reporting that the pair discussed setting up a secret communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin. In Russian communications intercepted by the U.S., Kislyak said Kushner proposed establishing this workaround and using equipment available in stateside Russian diplomatic facilities.

Kushner became a “focus” of a federal probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives working to swing the 2016 election “by early this year,” according to Reuters.

The Post and NBC reported earlier this week that Kushner’s communications with Kislyak and meetings with the head of a Russian bank under sanction by the U.S. had drawn attention from the FBI, making him the first current White House employee known to be under federal scrutiny.

The FBI declined Reuters’ request for comment, while the White House did not respond to the publication’s request for comment.

As Reuters reported:

FBI investigators are examining whether Russians suggested to Kushner or other Trump aides that relaxing economic sanctions would allow Russian banks to offer financing to people with ties to Trump, said the current U.S. law enforcement official.

Kushner failed to note two meetings with Kisylak and another with the head of the Russian bank, Vnesheconombank, as well as other conversations with foreign officials, on his application for a security clearance. His lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, told the New York Times that the omissions were an error and that he provided additional information to the FBI the day after submitting his application.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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