May 27, 2017

The Russian side of Trump update

Daily Beast  - A quartet of stories, published on Friday ... each touched on a facet of the ongoing investigation into the Kremlin’s attempts to influence the outcome of last year’s U.S. presidential election. Two, concerning White House senior adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, allege that one of the president’s closest confidantes engaged in previously undisclosed communications with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, including an alleged attempt to set up a secret communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin.

Kushner’s proposed backchannel, first reported by The Washington Post, would have protected discussions between the transition team and the Russian government from being monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies—and, since they were to have been conducted using Russian diplomatic facilities in the U.S., would have almost certainly exposed those discussions to Russian intelligence agencies. ..

Later on Friday night, Reuters, citing seven current and former U.S. officials, reported that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak during and after the presidential election, two of which occurred between April and November of last year. None of those contacts with Kislyak were disclosed in Kushner’s application for top-secret security clearance before his father-in-law’s inauguration in January.

Jamie Gorelick, Kushner’s attorney, stated that Kushner “participated in thousands of calls in this time period,” and “has no recollection of the calls as described.”

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