President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner made a pre-inauguration proposal to the Russian ambassador to set up a secret, bug-proof communications line with the Kremlin, the Washington Post reports.
And Reuters reports that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador a year ago, including two phone calls between April and November.
Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, President-elect Trump's son-in-law and confidant, made the proposal in a meeting on December 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by us officials.
The paper said the proposal was made December 1 or 2 at Trump Tower in NY, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by United States officials.
Flynn was sacked in February after officials said he misled Vice President Mike Pence about whether he and the ambassador had discussed US sanctions against Russian Federation in a phone call.
News reports said the White House, reeling from the latest explosive developments in the longrunning Russian Federation saga, is creating a new rapid-fire communications unit to respond to the controversy, led by Kushner, senior presidential adviser Steve Bannon and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
Kushner is not a subject of investigation unlike Trump aides Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn.
The FBI is interested in the details of Kushner's meeting with Kislyak, a meeting that the White House first disclosed in March.
The request from the Senate Intelligence Committee arrived last week at campaign headquarters in NY. Anxious about Trump's tendency to make things worse for himself with unscripted remarks, the White House staff has kept the president a safe distance from journalists for most of the trip.
In the days after the meeting with Kislyak, Kushner had a separate meeting with Sergey N. Gorkov, a Russian banker with close ties to President Vladimir Putin.
Kushner has offered to talk to Congress about these meetings, according to his lawyer. Labeling him a "target" would suggest Kushner was a main suspect of the investigation.
Federal investigators and several congressional committees are looking into Russia-Trump campaign connections.
A former USA ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation who has served in both Bush administrations and under President Clinton issued a strong rebuke Friday night of President Trump's relationship with Russian Federation.
In early December, after Trump had won the elections, Kushner and Flynn met in NY with Kislyak.
He is the only person now in the White House known to be under investigation.
Officials familiar with intelligence on contacts between the Russians and Trump advisers said that so far they have not seen evidence of any wrongdoing or collusion between the Trump camp and the Kremlin.
The Senate and House Intelligence committees also are investigating, but not with an eye to bringing criminal charges.
The new information about the two calls as well as other details uncovered by Reuters shed light on when and why Kushner first attracted Federal Bureau of Investigation attention and show that his contacts with Russian envoy Sergei Kislyak were more extensive than the White House has acknowledged. This prompted investigators to ask US intelligence agencies to reveal the names of the Americans, the current United States law enforcement official said.The daily alleged that 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.