President Trump's son-in-law and top adviser,, proposed to the Russian envoy that a secret communications channel could be set up between the transition team and the Kremlin, the Washington Post reported Friday.
CBS News has confirmed that when Jared Kushner met with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak in December, Kushner discussed setting up a 'back channel' for communications between the Trump transition team and Russian officials. This is according to a source familiar with the intelligence gathered at the time.
This would involve using Russian diplomatic facilities to prevent the monitoring of conversations between top Trump officials and Russia, according to the Post, which cited U.S. officials briefed on the intelligence.
The report stemmed from information about a conversation Russian Ambassador to the U.S.had with his superiors in Moscow about Kushner's proposal, which came up during a meeting in early December -- on Dec. 1 or 2 -- at Trump Tower, the Post reported.
Kislyak, according to the Post, told Moscow that it was Kushner's idea to use the Russian diplomatic facilities in the U.S. for this purpose. Kislyak was said to be "taken aback" by the idea that "an American would use Russian communications gear at its embassy or consulate," the Post reported.
Also in attendance at that meeting was Mr. Trump's pick to be national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who was later fired for misleading the vice president about the nature of his conversations with Kislyak. The White House has not responded to CBS News' requests for comment.
According to the Post, the Russians were surprised by Kushner's request because fulfilling it would have forced them to expose their own secret communications capabilities and methods to Kushner.
The FBI now considers this meeting and Kushner's meeting with a Russian banker to be of interest. CBS News confirmed that, but is not the target of an investigation.
One of the reporters on the story, Adam Entous, told CBS News that the Post was given an anonymous letter that described this in December. Entous said sources had confirmed that U.S. intelligence intercepted Kislyak's reporting of the meeting.
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