Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top White House adviser, added more than 100 names to a list of foreign contacts that he submitted to the FBI earlier this year in applying for a government security clearance, according to a new report in The New York Times.
In April, the Times reported that Kushner failed to inform the FBI of meetings he had with the head of a major Russian state-owned bank, Sergey Gorkov, who is a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and with Russia’s ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, during the presidential transition.
Since then, Kushner has reportedly updated the list of contacts three times, adding over 100 people, including Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer whom Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with in June 2016. Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting after being promised damaging information about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as part of “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
While Kushner briefed the president on the meeting with Veselnitskaya, he left out key details and minimized the importance of the encounter, according to sources close to Kushner who spoke with the Times. Trump Jr. has insisted that nothing came of the meeting with Veselnitskaya.
Both Democrats and Republicans are now questioning whether Kushner should have a security clearance at all.
As part of a wide-ranging inquiry into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia, Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating Kushner’s communications with Gorkov and Kislyak, as well as his role in the Trump campaign and relationship with former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
In May, The Washington Post reported that Kushner and Kislyak may have discussed establishing a secret communications backchannel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government.
Reuters also reported in May that the FBI is examining whether Gorkov suggested to Kushner that Russian banks could finance Trump associates’ business ventures if US sanctions were eased.
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