Kushner Tried to Establish ‘Back-Channel’
It seems like there will never be a dull moment during the Trump administration. The latest? Kushner tried to do a “no-no.” Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Donald Trump and a top White House adviser attempted to establish a secret line of communication between the Trump administration and Russian government officials as reported by The Washington Post. During a meeting last December, at Trump Tower, Kushner met with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. During the meeting he floated the possibility of setting up a secure line of communication between the Trump transition team and Russia. Such talks would have taken place in Russian diplomatic facilities in the US. This would have resulted in basically concealing such interactions from US government scrutiny.
Kislyak Passed Request to Moscow
The Post reported that Kislyak passed along Kushner’s request to Moscow. The paper said that the Russian ambassador was ‘taken aback’ by the request because it posed significant risks for both the Trump team and the Kremlin. Michael Hayden, who served as the director of NSA and the CIA, told CNN, “This is off the map. I know of no other experience like this in our history, and certainly not within my life experience.”
Kushner did not disclose the meeting on his security clearance form. He is now under scrutiny in the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s election interference, and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials to undermine former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Robert Deitz, a verteran of the NSA and the CIA said in an emaill, “GOOD GRIEF. This is serious. This raises a bunch of problematic issues. First, of course, is the Logan Act, which prohibits private individuals conducting negotiations on behalf of the US government with foreign governments. Second, it tends to reinforce the notion that Trump’s various actions about Comey to constitute obstruction.” Dietz went on to say, “In other words, there is now motive added to conduct. This is a big problem for the President.”