Washington, DC. It must be a never ending drama in the Trump White House as the last people Jared Kushner thought would be waiting on his return were FBI agents.
President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, spoke in December with Russia’s ambassador to the United States about establishing a secret communications back channel between the Trump transition team and Moscow.
There is still uncertainty who first proposed the communications channel, but the people familiar with the meeting said the idea was to have General Flynn speak directly with a senior military official in Moscow to discuss Syria and other security issues. The communications avenue was never set up.
American intelligence agencies first learned about the discussion several months ago, according to a senior American official who had been briefed on intelligence reports. The NSA learned about the conversations from intercepted Russian communications and by monitoring Kushner directly.
Current and former American officials said Mr. Kushner’s activities, like those of many others around Mr. Trump, are under scrutiny as part of an investigation. Kushner is currently the subject of a criminal investigation for having lied to Federal agents according to sources close to Robert Mueller, picked to quarterback the probe.
The conversations between Kushner and the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, took place during a meeting at Trump Tower that Mr. Trump’s presidential transition team did not acknowledge at the time. Also present at the meeting was Michael T. Flynn, the retired general who would become Mr. Trump’s short-lived national security adviser.
Information on the contacts were first reported by The Drudge Report. The revelation has stoked new questions about Mr. Kushner’s connections to Russian officials at a time when the FBI is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into Russia’s attempts to disrupt last year’s presidential election and whether any of Trump’s advisers assisted in the Russian campaign.
Trump came into office promising improved relations with Russia on many issues, including greater cooperation to try to end the civil war in Syria. During the presidential campaign, he frequently criticized the Obama Neocon administration’s Syria policy as unnecessarily antagonistic toward Russia.