Politics

Kushner Didn't Disclose Meetings With Foreign Officials

| by Michael Doherty

Jared Kushner, son-in-law of and senior advisor to President Donald Trump, did not properly disclose dozens of meetings with foreign officials.

The meetings, which reportedly should have been disclosed when Kushner sought a top secret security clearance, include one meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and one with the head of Vnesheconombank, a bank owned by the Russian government, the New York Times reports.

Kushner's lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, has called the omissions an error. Gorelick said Kushner prematurely submitted his questionnaire for national security positions in January, and that the additional information would be provided.

Kushner was reportedly granted an interim security clearance. His aides said he was compiling the supplemental information for the FBI.

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"During the presidential campaign and transition period, I served as a point-of-contact for foreign officials trying to reach the president-elect. I had numerous contacts with foreign officials in this capacity," Kushner said in a statement after learning about the missing information. "I would be happy to provide additional information about these contacts."

The questionnaire reportedly warns those filling it out that "withholding, misrepresenting, or falsifying information" on the form could lead to being rejected for security jobs, loss of access to classified information, or criminal investigation. Knowingly falsifying or hiding facts is a federal felony punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine.

The revelation that Kushner did not disclose his meetings with Russian officials comes after FBI Director James Comey confirmed to Congress that his agency is investigating links between Russia and the Trump campaign. The FBI is reportedly looking into the possibility that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to affect the 2016 presidential election.

In February, Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was fired for reportedly misleading Vice President Mike Pence about discussions Flynn had with Kislyak.

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Flynn had given Pence "incomplete information" about the phone calls, according to Uproxx. Flynn allegedly discussed sanctions with Kislyak before Trump entered office, then denied to the FBI that he had done so.

The information about Kushner's meetings also come after former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort was revealed to have once worked for Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, reportedly pitching Deripaska on a plan to "greatly benefit the Putin government," according to CNN.

Manafort denied that the work he did for Deripaska was political in nature.

"I worked with Oleg Deripaska almost a decade ago representing him on business and personal matters in countries where he had investments. My work for Mr. Deripaska did not involve representing Russian political interests," said Manafort in a statement.

Sources: The New York Times, CNN, Uproxx (2) / Photo Credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr

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