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McMaster 'Not Concerned' With New Reports About Jared Kushner, Russia

McMaster 'Not Concerned' With New Reports About Jared Kushner, Russia

President Donald Trump's son-in-law and trusted aide Jared Kushner may have discussed creating a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin with Russia's ambassador Sergei Kislyak, The Washington Post reported Friday, citing United States of America officials briefed on intelligence reports.

U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is now a focus of investigations into potential link between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian officials. He added: "It allows you to communicate in a discreet manner".

In response to repeated questions from reporters, Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn said, "We're not "We're not going to comment on Jared".

The revelation, if confirmed, would raise new questions about the Trump team's relationship with the Russians, who U.S. intelligence agencies say tried to sway the November election in Trump's favor.

According to USA officials who intercepted and reviewed Russian communications regarding the proposal, Kislyak told his superiors that Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, suggested the communications line during a meeting at Trump Tower on December 1 or 2.

Kushner, 36, even suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States to protect such a channel from monitoring, The Post said, quoting U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.

Despite McMasters' defense of using backchannel communications, Kushner's suggestion is odd because the secure channel was meant to shield his communications from his own government. The Post said Kislyak was reportedly "taken aback" by the suggestion.

Why Middle East peace starts in Saudi Arabia
Tillerson also suggested there's even more room for President Trump to moderate his views as he's exposed to more Muslim leaders. Still, Trump's visit to Riyadh made clear he is firmly on Saudi Arabia's side in its regional cold war with Iran .

The FBI closely monitors the communications of Russian officials in the United States, and it maintains a almost constant surveillance of its diplomatic facilities. A source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to CNN that Kushner first discussed creating the backchannel in a meeting last December with the Russian ambassador.

Defense attorneys and former FBI agents say that one likely area of interest for investigators would be Kushner's own meetings with Russians, given that such encounters with a variety of Trump associates are at the root of the sprawling probe, now overseen by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

The New York Times said the line was never established.

"In addition to their discussion about setting up the communications channel, Kushner, Flynn and Kislyak also talked about arranging a meeting between a representative of Trump and a "Russian contact" in a third country whose name was not identified, according to the anonymous letter. He has no recollection of the calls as described", Jamie Gorelick said.

The number of leaks pertaining to these investigations is extraordinary, and some appear to come from within the White House. Kushner's attorney said that was a mere error and he told the Federal Bureau of Investigation soon after that he would amend the forms. But officials said that it's unclear what Kislyak would have had to gain by falsely characterizing his contacts with Kushner to Moscow, particularly at a time when the Kremlin still saw the prospect of dramatically improved relations with Trump.

Federal investigators are looking into meetings Kushner held in December with Russia's ambassador and a banker from Moscow, CBS News' Scott Pelley reported on "CBS Evening News" on Thursday.

Kushner's lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, said he can not recall such a conversation having occurred. "We have asked (Reuters) for the dates of such alleged calls so we may look into it and respond, but we have not received such information", she said. He did so in a meeting last December with Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak and Michael Flynn, who served as national security adviser to the president briefly before he was sacked.


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