It has recently been reported by The Washington Post that last December, jared kushner met with Russian ambassador Sergei I. Kislyak. Kushner is President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor. The conversation between the two took place during a meeting at Trump Tower. The President’s transition team did not acknowledge the meeting at the time.

The back channel

Former national security advisor Michael T. Flynn, a retired general, was also present at the meeting. The proposed plan was to have Flynn speak directly with a senior military official in Moscow.

The likely topics of discussion were Syria as well as other security issues.

According to three anonymous sources, the channel was never set up. Two weeks after the discussion took place, Kushner backed out of the idea. His backing out of the idea of a back channel coincided with Trump announcing Rex Tillerson as secretary of state nominee. Tillerson is a former chief executive of Exxon Mobil and had worked closely with Russian officials in the past.

The White House declined to comment, as did the Russian embassy. Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, also declined to comment. The only one to break silence thus far has been Kislyak. He reportedly acted surprised by the idea of having a secret communications channel due to the security risks such a channel could have for Trump and Moscow.

A senior American official stated that U.S. intelligence first learned about the discussion several months ago. It is assumed that U.S. intelligence intercepted Russian communications and learned about the talk.

More secret Russian interactions?

Days after meeting Kislyak, Kushner had a meeting with Russian banker Sergey Gorkov, who has close ties to President Vladimir Putin.

The bank that Gorkov works for, Vnesheconombank, is currently under U.S. sanctions and was implicated in a 2015 espionage case. In this case, one of Vnesheconombank’s New York executives was jailed after pleading guilty to charges of spying.

At the same time as The Washington Post article was published, a separate report from Reuters was released stating that Kushner had had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak.

It is reported that these contacts happened during and after the presidential campaign. This includes two phone calls that reportedly occurred between April and November 2016. The Reuters report has been confirmed by seven current and former U.S. officials.

Kushner’s attorney, Jamie Gorelick, stated that Kushner did not recall any phone calls with Kislyak and has asked Reuters to provide her with the dates of “such alleged calls” so that her team can begin to look into the accusation and respond. It is still unclear whether Kushner or Kislyak initiated contact.

Kushner was one of the first within Trump’s inner circle to be investigated by the FBI concerning accusations that Russia tilted the U.S.

election in Trump’s favor. Two congressional intelligence committees are conducting investigations into Russian interference. They have recently accelerated their efforts to obtain documents from Trump’s campaign advisers, even issuing subpoenas. Law enforcement officials have stated that even though that FBI is investigating Kushner’s Russian contacts, he is not currently a target of the investigation.