Federal and congressional investigators are examining why Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, met with Sergey N. Gorkov, a Russian banker who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to The New York Times.
- Following reports that Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and one of his advisers, wanted a back-channel line of communication with Russian officials, some Democrats have called for his security clearance to be revoked.
The newspapers also reported that Kushner sought to use Russian diplomatic facilities in the U.S.to connect to Russian government officials.
Kushner's reasoning for setting up the private channel outside of official diplomatic channels was to primarily discuss how the US and Russian Federation could cooperate on ending the civil war in Syria and other policy issues, sources told The New York Times, but the FBI and congressional investigation is looking into whether other items were to be discussed.
In a series of tweets, Trump focused on news reports that include the words "sources say".
But people familiar with the matter say the Federal Bureau of Investigation now considers the encounter, as well as another meeting Kushner had with a Russian banker, to be of investigative interest. It was their first opportunity to question Spicer about a Washington Post report published late last week. The White House declined to comment Friday night.
Now, according to the New York Times, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional investigators are said to be probing what was said during Mr Kushner's 30-minute meeting with Mr Gorkov, chairman of the state-owned Vnesheconombank and an associate of President Putin.More news: Upton Not Happy With Trump Climate Decision
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Trump has entertained bringing his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and former deputy campaign manager, David Bossie, more formally back into the fold.
Schiff was particularly concerned about a Washington Post report that the back channel would have been conducted at a Russian diplomatic facility to avoid monitoring in USA communications systems.
But making up things has been part and parcel of the Trump administration, although we wait for the details to be disclosed about how much Kushner discussed with the Russians, and it couldn't be any more than what his father-in-law disclosed.
"Back channels like this are the regular course of business, and that's really all that we know", Conway said.
Mr Michael Flynn, who was Mr Trump's national security adviser for just 24 days before being fired amid questions about meetings he held with the Russian ambassador, was also present, the newspaper reported.
USA intelligence intercepted dispatches from Ambassador Sergey Kislyak telling his superiors about the talks.