Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.
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 was also attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser.
In addition to their discussion about setting up the communications channel, Kushner, Flynn and Kislyak also talked about arranging a meeting between a representative of Trump and a “Russian contact” in a third country whose name was not identified, according to the anonymous letter.
Erick Prince, the former founder of the private security firm Blackwater and an informal adviser to the Trump transition team, met on Jan. 11 – nine days before Trump’s inauguration – in the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean with a representative of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The above is not a passage from a novel. The words were not lifted from a spy thriller of intrigue and high treason about the infiltration of the American government at the highest level by an alliance of powerful individuals secretly in league with a hostile foreign power.
No, the above is from the front-page news story of yesterday’s Washington Post.
In normal times a Jared Kushner would have by now been escorted by Federal officers from his luxury high-rise office in handcuffs. In normal times this sort of thing would have been news. It would have been treason of momentous proportions. It would have been one for the history books.
But in these times? Eh. Jared Kushner’s collaboration with Russian operatives is merely the outrage du jour – for half the country. The other half, if they even pay attention, will ask with a yawn and a shrug, “So what if he wants to talk to the Russians?”
The Justice Department won’t make a move against Kushner because the Attorney General has also been in secret communication with the Russians, except that’s likewise no secret anymore and apparently no big deal, either. Congress won’t take any action against Jared Kushner because both The House and The Senate are ruled by Republican apparatchiks, none of whom dare think or act for themselves,
*Flying a flag upside down means “Help. We are in dire trouble.”
“Russia diplomat: Kushner sought secret channel,” by Ellen Nakashima, Adam Entous and Greg Miller, The Washington Post, May 27, 2017, page 1.