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Saturday, 27 May 2017

Kushner 'discussed secret line to Moscow' - US media reports

Donald Trump's son-in-law attempted to set up secret communications with Moscow a month after Mr Trump's election, US media say.
Jared Kushner wanted to use Russian facilities to avoid US interception of discussions with Moscow, the Washington Post and New York Times said.
Mr Kushner, a senior White House aide, has not commented.
He is said to be under scrutiny by the FBI as part of its inquiry into Russian interference favouring Mr Trump's win.
Reports in the US say investigators believe he has relevant information, but he is not necessarily suspected of a crime.

'What if back-channel had come off' - By BBC's Anthony Zurcher

Imagine, for a moment, that Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn had succeeded in setting up secure communications with Russia that bypassed US government channels.
The past few months might have turned out very differently.
Mr Flynn's late December contact with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak to discuss the recently imposed punitive sanctions on Russia for meddling in the presidential election likely would not have been intercepted up by US intelligence surveillance.
Without that intercept there would have been no urgent meeting between acting attorney general Sally Yates and Trump administration officials to discuss Mr Flynn's possible susceptibility to Russian blackmail.
There would have been no leaks to the US media that eventually exposed Mr Flynn as having been less than forthcoming about those conversations to the public and Vice-President Mike Pence. Mr Trump likely wouldn't have felt compelled to fire Flynn from his national security adviser job in mid-February - a move the president reportedly still regrets.
In this scenario Mr Flynn - who accepted money to advocate for Turkish interests last year and is currently under FBI investigation - could be in a top White House post to this very day.
Source By BBC.COM

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