Washington Post: Jared Kushner Sought Back Channel With Russians… Say Russians

Claim comes from intercepts of conversations between Russian ambassador and Moscow

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Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in December that Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, asked to set up a “secret and secure communications channel” between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, according to a new report by The Washington Post Friday.

The claim comes from intercepts of conversations between Russia’s ambassador and Moscow.

The request was to help shield the transition team’s discussions from the public and authorities, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.

According to the Post, Kislyak told higher-ups in Moscow that Kushner suggested the idea during a meeting at Trump Tower — which included former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Kushner reportedly “suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.”

The Post goes on to say that the White House downplayed the meeting’s significance but that “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.”

Kislyak is said to have been “taken aback” by the idea of letting an American use Russian communications gear at one of its facilities because it could create a security risk for both Moscow and Trump’s people.

Neither The White House nor Flynn would comment on the story to The Post.

The news comes just one day after the Post reported that FBI investigators are looking into a number of meetings between Kushner and the Kremlin as part of its investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 election.

Kushner is not the central focus of the investigation, but his meetings with a Russian banker and an ambassador in December 2016 have piqued the interest of the FBI, according to the report.

Beyond a possible connection between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, investigators are also checking on potential “financial crimes,” the Washington Post states.