Friday, May 26, 2017

Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.

The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser.
Russia at times feeds false information into communication streams it suspects are monitored as a way of sowing misinformation and confusion among U.S. analysts.

[Ths Post published a thing last night. It was very convoluted. Confused the hell out of me. Russia planted fake information in one of their own legitimate communications. The fake info was that Loretta Lynch, Obama A.G., had told a person in the Clinton campaign that she would not let the FBI investigation into Clinton's emails go too far. Comey knew about this and that's why he went public, bypassing DOJ, and clearing Clinton. The story went on to say that the authenticity of the fake info was greatly called into question by Comey subordinates. But Comey believed it enough to make his announcement. (That story has now morphed today into a report by CNN that Comey KNEW the info was fake.). Confused Comey, too. The Post went on to say that Comey's premature clearing led to his October Surprise that he was reopening the investigation. Very convoluted.]

But officials said that it’s unclear what Kislyak would have had to gain by falsely characterizing his contacts with Kushner to Moscow, particularly at a time when the Kremlin still saw the prospect of dramatically improved relations with Trump.

The discussion of a secret channel adds to a broader pattern of efforts by Trump’s closest advisers to obscure their contacts with Russian counterparts. Trump’s first national security adviser, Flynn, [made] a series of false statements about his conversations with Kislyak. Attorney General Jeff Sessions...failed to disclose his own meetings with Kislyak when asked during congressional testimony about any contact with Russians.

Kushner’s interactions with Russians — including Kislyak and an executive for a Russian bank under U.S. sanctions — were not acknowledged by the White House until they were exposed in media reports.

The Post was first alerted in mid-December to the meeting by an anonymous letter...

[Hey, Ex-Quasi's, did you get an anonymous letter? Prolly not, You were Quasi-Official for so long nobody would trust you. Like Snowden.]

...which said, among other things, that Kushner had talked to Kislyak about setting up the communications channel. This week, officials who reviewed the letter and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence said the portion about the secret channel was consistent with their understanding of events.

For instance, according to those officials and the letter, Kushner conveyed to the Russians that he was aware that it would be politically sensitive to meet publicly, but it was necessary for the Trump team to be able to continue their communication with Russian government officials.