Jared Kushner Sought Secret Russia Communications Channel: Report | NBC New York
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Jared Kushner Sought Secret Russia Communications Channel: Report

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster says that in general, "we have back channel communications with a number of countries" and doing that "allows you to communicate in a discreet manner"

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    Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and one of his senior advisers, has come under FBI scrutiny in the Russia investigation, multiple U.S. officials told NBC News.

    (Published Saturday, May 27, 2017)

    The Washington Post reports that Russia's ambassador to the U.S. has told his superiors that he and Jared Kushner discussed setting up a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin in December.

    The Post report cites anonymous U.S. officials who were briefed on intelligence reports on intercepted Russian communications.

    The newspaper says Ambassador Sergei Kislyak told his superiors that Kushner proposed using Russian diplomatic facilities for their discussions, apparently to make them more difficult to monitor. The Post says Kislyak was reportedly "taken aback" by the suggestion.

    Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, and economic aide Gary Cohn declined to comment Saturday on the new revelations about Kushner communications with Kislyak.

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    "We're not going to comment on Jared. We're just not going to comment," Cohn told reporters in Sicily.

    McMaster says that in general, "we have back channel communications with a number of countries" and doing that "allows you to communicate in a discreet manner."

    Kushner's role in Trump's campaign and now his presidency make him a seemingly obvious person that investigators would want to know more about and possibly speak with as they probe connections between Moscow and associates of President Donald Trump.

    Kushner has already volunteered to speak with Congress about those meetings, and his attorney says he's willing to cooperate with any additional investigations.

    Reuters reported Friday that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak last year, including two phone calls between April and November.

    The news agency anonymously cited current and former U.S. officials. Kushner's attorney, Jamie Gorelick, told Reuters that Kushner "has no recollection of the calls as described."

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    The interest in Kushner would move the investigation into the White House, though there is no indication that Kushner is accused of wrongdoing or that he is a target.

    The White House in March confirmed that Kushner and the ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn, met with Kislyak at Trump Tower in December.