The Russian connection appears to be dogging Trump and now, it has also pulled in Son- in- law Jared Kushner into the mess, it seems. After a Washington Post report that Kushner has sought to create back channel communications channels with Russia for Trump's presidential transition team at the end of the last year, the Russian connection came back into the spotlight. President Trump has just returned from a nine day global tour and he took to his favorite platform Twitter to rubbish the allegations. He has described the report about links between Kushner and the Russians as 'fabricated news' by 'fake writer'.
The One president at a time policy
An interesting aspect is that, if indeed any such interactions did take place between Kushner in his capacity as the to- be- President's team member, it goes completely against the one- President- at- a- time convention that has always been followed. Under this convention, the outgoing President and his team are in charge of all foreign affairs right until the last minute. This is a convention that is followed to minimize confusion and to avoid ambiguity about key decisions that may impact global relations. White House officials have not made any statement about the newspaper report yet.
Kushner willing to share information
Jared Kushner is willing to share any and all information about the alleged links with Russians, including his meeting with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, among other officials. According to attorney Jamie Gorelick, Kushner will cooperate with any investigation that requires him to testify about these interactions. The report comes on the heels of news that the FBI, as part of its ongoing investigation into the Russian interference in the Presidential elections, is also exploring Kushner's connections in Russia. A meeting between him and Kislyak is being explored in detail, it is learnt. It will be interesting to know whether or not Kushner did, as reports suggest, explore the idea of setting up a secret channel for the transition team to converse with Russian officials.
Meanwhile Trump, in his characteristic way, sought to shift focus from the allegations about his son- in- law to what he described as 'leaks' in the press. He then highlighted the seriousness of the leaks about the Manchester bombing that caused a firm reprimand from his UK counterpart about keeping U.S. media in check to protect the ongoing investigations there.