Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner allegedly wanted to have a secret communication channel with the Russians weeks after the US presidential polls, according to a media report. Kushner, in a meeting with the Russian envoy to the US Sergey Kislyak, discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between the then transition team and the Kremlin using Russian diplomatic facilities in the US, The Washington Post reported.
The information, which Kislyak relayed to Moscow after their meeting on December 1 or 2, was intercepted by the US intelligence agencies, the daily said quoting an unnamed US official briefed on intelligence reports. The meeting was also attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, the daily said.
“The White House disclosed the fact of the meeting only in March, playing down its significance. But people familiar with the matter say the FBI now considers the encounter, as well as another meeting Kushner had with a Russian banker, to be of investigative interest,” the daily reported. The opposition Democratic party urged Trump to fire Kushner.
“Trump has no choice but to immediately fire Kushner, whose failure to report this episode on his security clearance is reason enough for a criminal investigation,” the Deputy National Committee deputy communications director Adrienne Watson demanded in a statement.
“The next question is whether the President authorised this, because no one stands between Trump and Kushner on the chain of command,” Watson asked. Democratic Congressman Nanette Diaz Barragan from California tweeted, “The Kremlin and Kushner or Trump ties become more & more disturbing as we learn more facts each passing day.”
According to The Washington Post, the Russian Ambassador was alarmed by such a proposal from Kushner, who is now the senior most advisor to President Trump and has played a key role in his trips to Saudi Arabia and Israel and Palestine.
The daily alleged that the discussion of a secret channel adds to a broader pattern of efforts by Trump’s closest advisers to obscure their contacts with Russian counterparts.