Reports: Kremlin To Recall Russian Ambassador Kislyak To Moscow

Cliff Owen/FR170079 AP

Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, will return to Moscow amid federal and congressional probes into whether members of President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials, according to several reports.

BuzzFeed News on Sunday first reported the Kremlin’s decision to recall Kislyak after he spent nine years as Russia’s U.S. ambassador. It is not clear when Kislyak will leave, but BuzzFeed noted the U.S.-Russia Business Council is scheduled to host a “farewell reception” for Kislyak at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C. on July 11.

NBC News confirmed on Monday that Kislyak will leave his post.

“NBC News has confirmed Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak, is going back home to Russia amid the investigations into his contacts with top Trump officials during the presidential campaign,” NBC’s Ali Velshi reported.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Kislyak’s departure was “all planned in advance” as part of a regular rotation, CNN reported Monday.

According to Russian media reports cited by BuzzFeed and CNN, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Antonov will replace Kislyak as U.S. ambassador.

Several current and former members of Trump’s administration ran into trouble after failing to disclose their meetings with Kislyak during the presidential campaign.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned in February following revelations that he discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with Kislyak before Trump took office.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March recused himself from the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election after it was revealed that he failed to disclose two meetings with Kislyak during his confirmation hearing.

Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser and Trump’s son-in-law, reportedly spoke to Kislyak in December about the possibility of setting up a secret communications channel between Trump’s transition team and Moscow. Kushner also failed to disclose on his application for a security clearance that he had at least three additional contacts with Kislyak.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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