Wednesday 26 July 2017

President's son-in-law faces grilling on Russian ties

Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner. Photo: REUTERS
Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner. Photo: REUTERS

Mark Hosenball

The US Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking to interview US President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner as part of its investigation into ties between Trump associates and Russian officials, a congressional official said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed a 'New York Times' report that the panel wants to question Mr Kushner, who was an adviser to Mr Trump during his presidential campaign and in the White House. He would be the closest person to the president to be questioned in the congressional investigations into Russia's role in the 2016 election.

The panel wants to ask Mr Kushner about two meetings arranged with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak at Trump Tower in New York in December, as well as a meeting with the head of Russia's state-owned development bank, the 'Times' reported, citing unidentified administration and congressional officials.

Vnesheconombank was among the Russian banks sanctioned by the Obama administration in 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea.

Members of a president-elect's team routinely meet with Russians or other foreign officials. Mr Trump's spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the 'Times' Mr Kushner met with dozens of officials from foreign countries.

The US intelligence community has concluded Moscow orchestrated the hacking of Democratic Party groups during the campaign and released the stolen information to benefit Mr Trump. Russia denies this.

Ms Hicks said Mr Kushner was willing to speak to the senate panel.

"He isn't trying to hide anything," she was quoted as telling the 'Times'.

Irish Independent

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