'Jared Kushner should have security clearance reviewed'

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 30, 2017

Administration officials close to US President Donald Trump have been pushing Kushner to step aside while the FBI investigates meetings that Kushner had with Russian figures during the transition period following the November election, ABC News first reported on Sunday.

Those contacts included two phone calls between April and November a year ago, two of the sources said.

"Jared is doing a great job for the country".

The allegations came after Mr Kushner was said to be under scrutiny as part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

On the bombing investigation Trump said: "British Prime Minister May was very angry that the info the United Kingdom gave to US about Manchester was leaked".

Kushner has drawn increased scrutiny as reports have emerged about his contacts with the Russian ambassador and a Russian banking representative.

Following the reports, Kushner's attorney said the Trump aide would cooperate in the investigation.

The FBI declined to comment, while the Russian embassy said it was policy not to comment on individual diplomatic contacts.

Some White House aides have discreetly discussed among themselves whether Mr Kushner should play a lesser role - or even go on leave - at least until the Russia-related issues calm down. As a candidate, Trump vowed to pull out of the accord, which was negotiated during the Obama administration, claiming the deal would be economically disadvantageous to the U.S.

The conversation between Mr. Kushner and the Ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, took place during a meeting at Trump Tower that Trump's presidential transition team did not acknowledge at the time.

The latest reports in the Russian Federation matter said Kushner spoke with Russia's ambassador to the United States about setting up secret communications with Moscow during the presidential transition.

Kushner was a trusted Trump adviser past year, overseeing the campaign's digital strategy.

Kelly also echoed Trump's aggressive posture against leaks, calling US officials' disclosure of information about last week's bombing in Manchester, England, "darn close to treason".

The remarks come amid a report on Saturday that Kushner discussed a secret channel to discuss US military operations in Syria and other matters with the Russians. Reuters was unable to determine how those discussions were conducted or exactly when they took place.

The FBI, a special counsel and congressional committees are probing Russian interference in the presidential campaign and whether the Trump camp colluded in it. A Washington Post report during the campaign detailed how Trump the businessman was often the source of his own leaks, posing as spokesman "John Miller" or "John Barron" to tell reporters positive stories about himself or to float dating rumors.

Separately, there were at least 18 undisclosed calls and emails between Trump associates and Kremlin-linked people in the seven months before the November 8 presidential election, including six calls with Kislyak, sources told Reuters earlier this month. Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned in February over undisclosed meetings with Russian officials, was present at the meeting. "Gave me full details!"

The Washington Post and NBC each reported late Thursday that Kushner's interactions with Russian figures were of interest to the FBI, but that this did not mean he was a target of the investigation.

As they return to the US after days on the worldwide stage, Trump and White House aides face the prospect of weeks and months of investigations into their alleged ties to Russian officials during the real estate mogul's long run for the presidency and accusations from opposition Democrats that he has tried to obstruct justice and curtail the probes.

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