Saturday, May 27, 2017

Washington Post: Jared Kushner now a focus in Russia investigation

ModDonald Trump became famous for many things in his life before politics, and one of them was as a "Reality TV" star. And if you think about it, that has now continued on into his presidency. The latest episode involves his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the possibility that he served as a kind of a bagman to the Russians for the Trump gang. Or so some of the Feds in on the investigation are starting to believe. Here are a few of the current news articles detailing the latest developments in the affairs of America's most prominent reality TV stars, the Trump Family. You never know what will happen next.

Jared Kushner now a focus in Russia investigation (Washington Post link): Investigators are focusing on a series of meetings held by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and an influential White House adviser, as part of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and related matters, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Kushner, who held meetings in December with the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow, is being investigated because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians, the people said.

The Washington Post reported last week that a senior White House official close to the president was a significant focus of the high-stakes investigation, though it did not name Kushner.

FBI agents also remain keenly interested in former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, but Kushner is the only current White House official known to be considered a key person in the probe.

In addition to possible coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election, investigators are also looking broadly into possible financial crimes — but the people familiar with the matter, who were not authorized to speak publicly, did not specify who or what was being examined.

Kushner Is Said to Have Discussed a Secret Channel to Talk to Russia (The New York Times link): Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, spoke in December with Russia’s ambassador to the United States about establishing a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and Moscow to discuss strategy in Syria and other policy issues, according to three people with knowledge of the discussion.

The conversation between Mr. Kushner and the ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, took place during a meeting at Trump Tower that Mr. Trump’s presidential transition team did not acknowledge at the time. Also present at the meeting was Michael T. Flynn, the retired general who would become Mr. Trump’s short-lived national security adviser, the three people said.

It is unclear who first proposed the communications channel, but the people familiar with the meeting said the idea was to have Mr. Flynn speak directly with a senior military official in Moscow to discuss Syria and other security issues. The communications channel was never set up, the people said.

The three people were not authorized to discuss the December meeting and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The White House declined to comment on Friday night.

News of the discussion was first reported by The Washington Post. The revelation has stoked new questions about Mr. Kushner’s connections to Russian officials at a time when the F.B.I. is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into Russia’s attempts to disrupt last year’s presidential election and whether any of Mr. Trump’s advisers assisted in the Russian campaign.

Ex-CIA Director: CIA would consider Kushner actions 'espionage' (The Hill link): Former acting CIA director John McLaughlan on Friday responded to reports that President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner discussed setting up a secret communications line between Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, saying if such reports are true, it would be considered espionage.

"I don’t want to overstate this because obviously there is a lot we don’t know — we don’t know the exact content of the conversation. We don’t know the objective that was a part of the conversation — those things we don’t know," McLaughlan said on MSNBC's "The Last Word" Friday.

"But I can’t keep out of my mind the thought that, if an American intelligence officer had done anything like this, we’d consider it espionage.”

The president's son-in-law and senior adviser inquired about using Russian diplomatic facilities for the communications, apparently to shield the talks, U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports told The Washington Post.

Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak told his superiors that Kushner floated the idea during a meeting at Trump Tower on Dec. 1 or 2, according to the Post, which cited intercepts of Russian communications reviewed by U.S. officials.

Following the reports on Friday, the Democratic National Committee called for Kushner's immediate firing from his White House position.

When asked what his first reaction would be if reports are proven true, McLaughlan said he'd ask himself, "is this a prank?"

“[The reaction] would be kind of disbelief, because it’s not the sort of they think you would expect to happen in a normal transition," he said.

'This is serious': Jared Kushner reportedly tried to set up a secret Trump-Russia back channel (Business Insider link): Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and top White House adviser, was willing to go extraordinary lengths to establish a secret line of communication between the Trump administration and Russian government officials, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

During the presidential transition period leading up to Trump's inauguration, Kushner held a series of meetings with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, and the head of a Moscow bank that was under US sanctions.

In talks with Kislyak in December, Kushner floated the possibility of setting up a secure line of communication between the Trump transition team and Russia — and having those talks take place in Russian diplomatic facilities in the US, essentially concealing their interactions from US government scrutiny, The Post wrote, citing US intelligence officials briefed on the matter.

Kislyak reportedly passed along that request to Moscow. The Post's Ellen Nakashima, Adam Entous, and Greg Miller reported that the Russian ambassador was "taken aback" by Kushner's request, because it posed significant risks for both the Trump team and the Kremlin.

Kushner, who did not disclose the meeting on his security clearance form, is now a subject in the FBI's investigation of Russia's election interference, and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to undermine Hillary Clinton.

He also had two previously undisclosed phone calls with Kislyak between April and November of last year, according to Reuters. Kushner's attorney James Gorelick responded to the Reuters story Friday evening via CNN, saying "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."

"GOOD GRIEF. This is serious," said Bob Deitz, a veteran of the NSA and the CIA who worked under the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Mod: More news of the Trump Family's adventures in Washington as it breaks.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

36 comments:

  1. The Latest: White House refuses to address Kushner reports
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-latest-trump-in-italy-for-second-day-of-g-7-meetings/2017/05/27/38cd6042-42ae-11e7-b29f-f40ffced2ddb_story.html

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  2. Top Trump Economic Adviser: Coal Doesnt Make Sense Anymore

    Somebody should have told the president.

    Donald Trump spent months promising miners that he’d make the ailing coal mining industry great again, but it seems one of his top economic aides has other ideas.

    Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters aboard Air Force One Thursday night that coal “doesn’t make sense anymore,” as he talked up other energy sources.

    “Coal doesn’t even make that much sense anymore as a feedstock,” he said, CNN Money reported. Feedstock refers to what’s used to produce energy. Cohn called natural gas a “such a cleaner fuel,” and pointed out that America has become an “abundant producer” of the fossil fuel.

    He also praised renewable energy. “If you think about how solar and how much wind power we’ve created in the United States, we can be a manufacturing powerhouse and still be environmentally friendly,” Cohn said.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-aide-senseless-coal_us_5928e370e4b0df57cbfbd85e?section=us_politics

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  3. These clowns in the White House now have watched too many 'Spy Movies' but the ending will be the same, good guys win and the bad ones go to prison. See yeah later Current White House clowns.

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  4. To me it seems obvious. Trump was scared he was going to lose the election, and he turned to the Russians for help. That he used his son in law as messenger boy is interesting. Apparently there is nobody he won't use to further his causes. No matter what the consequences to the person being used. Ivanka cannot be pleased.

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  5. Just another witch hunt, Hillary and her family and associates are the villians

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    Replies
    1. Hillary made Jared talk to the Russians? Are you sure about that?

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    2. For Trumplings a rule of thumb is if something goes right, Trump did it. If something goes south? It's Hillary's fault.

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    3. This troll is paid to confuse you and the general public.

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  6. Maybe golden spoon Jared and Orange Head can share same prison cell?

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    Replies
    1. Why not? They share Ivanka.

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    2. Haha

      Ewww

      Haha

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    3. Conjugal and family visits. All on the same day.

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  7. Russia, Russia, Russia. Keep the brain fart going, that Russia caused "lock her up Hillary" to loose the election.
    As long as the Democratic party keeps chasing it's tail; works for me.

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    Replies
    1. Loose. Like the screws in your head.

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  8. Trump attacks almost everyone, but never has anything but praise for Putin.

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    Replies
    1. Like Denzel Washington in Training Day.. he's in deep and on borrowed time.

      Exploit the naive, betray allies, lie through it all...but the Russians gonna win in the end.

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  9. Great speech by President Trump: Drive them Out.
    First Foreign trip as Commander in Chief.
    Another memorable line; Terrorist do not worship God...

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    Replies
    1. Neither does Trump.

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    2. It's just business.

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    3. Monkey business.

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  10. 9:23am. Spoken as a true Atheist.

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    Replies
    1. Anyone who thinks Trump speaks for God is in league with the Evil One.

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  11. The President Flew Away and an Investigation Took Root
    Nothing Trump did while overseas could obscure the erupting news back home.
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/27/week-one-the-president-flew-away-and-an-investigation-took-root-215198

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  12. Kushner Met With Russian Banker Who Is Putin Crony, Spy School Grad
    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/kushner-met-russian-banker-who-putin-crony-spy-school-grad-n765311

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  13. Can we call it treason yet?May 27, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Report suggests potentially alarming development in Jared Kushner's meeting with the head of a sanctioned Russian bank

    The FBI is examining whether Russian officials suggested to President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, that Russian banks could finance Trump associates' business ventures if US sanctions were lifted or relaxed, Reuters reported on Friday, citing a current US law enforcement official.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/kushner-meeting-russian-bank-gorkov-vnesheconombank-2017-5

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  14. President Kennedy appointed his brother in law as the first Peace Corps director. The prgram was tentative and the longevity of it was uncertain (now in place for 50 years). He was asked about appointing a family member and his response was along the lines '...well if it doesn't work out, it is easier to fire a family member...' Take note President #45.

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  15. I would like to see some recent photos of S-I-L Kushner. Bet he looks pale and drained. Even in all the earlier candid shots of him I see the vapid expression of someone who wonders when he is going to be found out, except when there is this pretty boy smile with the "charming" deep dimples.

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  16. Kushner's lawyer mention multiple occassions of his client being in contact with the Russians and he couldn't possibly remember particulars. I assure you the Russians have it logged down to the second.

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    Replies
    1. I am sure they have it all on film as well.

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  17. Trump will be the first president to pardon his entire family. Bet he even tries to pardon himself.

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  18. That's great 12:12pm., President Trump should remain in office 50 years.MAGA.

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    Replies
    1. He would be 120 years old by then. Or the current age of his brain.

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    2. maybe, but 120 is surely at least 40 points over his IQ.

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  19. I never thought I'd see it, but that Orangehead is dumber than W........

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    Replies
    1. Yes. He is actually making Bush look good, and Obama like a genius.

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  20. Orange Head issue is mix of stupidity and dementia

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