Jared Kushner Proposed A Secret Communications Channel With The Kremlin

In early December, Jared Kushner told Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak he wanted to establish a secret, backchannel line of communications with the Kremlin, according to an exclusive report Friday evening by the Washington Post.

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 new information about the two calls as well as other details uncovered by Reuters shed light on when and why Kushner first attracted Federal Bureau of Investigation attention and show that his contacts with Kislyak were more extensive than the White House has acknowledged.

The contacts included two phone calls between April and November previous year, two of the sources told Reuters.

The statement from attorney Jamie Gorelick comes amid reports that the FBI is scrutinizing Kushner's encounters as part of broader investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

After the November 8 election, Kushner and Flynn also discussed with Kislyak the idea of creating a back channel between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could have bypassed diplomats and intelligence agencies, two of the sources said. News was breaking that USA officials thought Russia meddled in the election, and Kushner may have recognized how politically sensitive it would be to meet with the Russians. That would have confirmed the accusation from Trump that Trump Towers was surveilled by former President Obama.

Beyond a possible connection between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, investigators are also checking on potential "financial crimes", the Washington Post states. The Post cites "U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports".

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.

So the rumors of prison time for the top White House adviser remains just that - rumors.

Less than two weeks later, Kushner backed off the idea of the communications channel when Trump announced Rex Tillerson, a former chief executive of Exxon Mobil who had worked closely with Russian officials on energy deals, as his choice to become secretary of state.

CNN reported that sources close to Comey said he "felt it didn't matter if the information was accurate, because his big fear was that if the Russians released the information publicly, there would be no way for law enforcement and intelligence officials to discredit it without burning intelligence sources and methods". Trump campaign's data analytics operation was supervised by Kushner.

"I called somebody who works for one of the technology companies that I work with, and I had them give me a tutorial on how to use Facebook micro-targeting", Kushner told Forbes.

Americans also generally do not seem to believe the narrative Trump has told about the Comey firing: 54% say they do not believe that Comey told Trump three times that he was not under investigation, which Trump claimed in his letter firing Comey.

Kushner also met that month with Sergei Gorkov, chairman of VneshEconomBank, the Russian state-owned bank under U.S. sanctions since July 2014. Moreover, they said, nothing found so far indicates that Mr Trump authorised, or was even aware of, the contacts.

In fact, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe went to Capitol Hill Thursday to push back on the notion that the FBI was duped, according to a source familiar with a meeting McCabe had with members of the Senate intelligence committee.

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