A White House official told Business Insider that Kushner took the meetings as part of his role as "the official primary point of contact with foreign governments and officials." "Throughout the campaign and transition, Jared Kushner served as the ...
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The Senate Intelligence Committee will question President Donald
Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as part of its investigation
into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether any
collusion occurred between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
"Mr. Kushner has volunteered to be interviewed as part of the
committee's investigation into the Russian activities surrounding
the 2016 election," Sens. Richard Burr and Mark Warner, the
committee's chairman and vice chairman, told The New York Times in a statement.
The questions will center on Kushner's meeting with Russia's
ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, in December at Trump Tower
with Gen. Michael Flynn, according to The Times. Kushner, a White
House senior adviser, will also be asked about a previously
undisclosed meeting he had in December with the head of Russia's
state-owned Vnesheconombank, which was sanctioned by President
Barack Obama after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
A White House official told Business Insider that Kushner took
the meetings as part of his role as "the official primary point
of contact with foreign governments and officials."
"Throughout the campaign and transition, Jared Kushner served as
the official primary point of contact with foreign governments
and officials," the official said. "Given this role, he has
volunteered to speak with Chairman Burr's Committee but has not
yet received confirmation."
Kushner's meeting with Vnesheconombank's chief, Sergey Gorkov,
came at the request of Kislyak, White House spokeswoman Hope
Hicks told The Times. Kislyak delivered the message to Kushner
via Avrahm Berkowitz, an aide whom Kushner sent to meet with
Kislyak in his place.
At the time, Kushner was trying to find investors for a Fifth
Avenue office building in Manhattan that is set to be heavily
financed by Anbang Insurance Group, a firm with ties to the
Chinese government. Hicks told The Times that the "Kushner Tower" project wasn't discussed
during his meeting with Gorkov.
Kushner is the closest person to Trump to be swept up in the
Senate or House committees' investigations so far.
At least five other Trump associates â€” Flynn, the former national
security adviser; Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Roger Stone, an
early Trump campaign adviser; Carter Page, an early
foreign-policy adviser; and JD Gordon, the campaign's
national-security representative at the Republican National
Convention â€” have been asked to testify before the Senate
Intelligence Committee and preserve any relevant documents about
contact they may have made with Russians during the election.
All are now reported to have met with Kislyak in the latter half
of 2016 as Russia was attempting to sway the outcome of the
election in Trump's favor.
Flynn resigned as national security adviser after he misled Vice
President Mike Pence about his conversations with Kislyak, and
Sessions recused himself from the Department of Justice's
Russia-related investigations after The Washington Post reported
that he met with Kislyak twice last year and failed to disclose
those meetings during his confirmation hearing.
On Friday, Stone, Page, and Trump's former campaign chairman,
Paul Manafort,Â sent letters to the House Intelligence
Committee volunteering to be interviewed as part of that
committee's investigation into Russia's election interference.
While Stone, Manafort, and Page all have connections to Russia,
they have all denied that they helped facilitate any collusion
between the Trump campaign and Moscow during the election.
The FBI is investigating the Russian interference separately from
Congress, FBI Director James Comey confirmed last week. The investigation has
been examining whether members of Trump's campaign team colluded
with Russian officials to undermine Hillary Clinton, the 2016
Democratic presidential nominee.
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