Jared Kushner and the Russian ambassador to the U.S. reportedly discussed the potential to set up a “secret and secure communications channel” between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Kushner — President Donald Trump‘s son-in-law and now a top White House advisor — proposed the channel at an early December meeting at Trump Tower, according to the Post, which cited U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports. Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., reported that to his superiors.
Reuters, citing seven current and former U.S. officials, reported Friday that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak during and after the presidential campaign. Those contacts included two phone calls between April and November of 2016, two of the sources told Reuters.
By early 2017, Reuters added, Kushner had become a focus of the FBI probe into whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, according to one current and one former law enforcement official.
Kushner first came to the attention of the FBI last year as investigators began scrutinizing former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn’s connections with Russian officials, Reuters reported, citing two sources.
Kushner’s attorney, Jamie Gorelick, told Reuters that Kushner did not remember any calls with Kislyak between April and November. “Mr Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time
period. He has no recollection of the calls as described. 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 told the news service.
Kushner is “under FBI scrutiny” in the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any possible ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow, according to NBC News. It does not mean investigators suspect him of a crime or intend to charge him.
Flynn — whom NBC reports is formally considered a subject of the investigation — also attended the December meeting with Kushner and Kislyak, according to the Post.