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Jared Kushner to speak to Senate committee over his meeting with Russian ambassador

The Independent logo The Independent 27/03/2017 Rachael Revesz
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Jared Kushner will face questioning as part of a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives.

Mr Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and Senior Adviser, will be the closest person to the President to be questioned on the alleged links to Russia during the 2016 campaign.

The 36-year-old, who has been tapped to lead the new White House Office of Innovation, met with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak at Trump Tower in December.

The meeting was also attended by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign after it was revealed he misled Mr Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about the extent of his communication with the ambassador.

Mr Kushner also met with the head of Russia’s state-owned development bank, according to sources as reported by the New York Times.

Former President Barack Obama sanctioned the bank, Vnesheconombank, and other Russian banks in 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said that Mr Kushner met with dozens of officials from foreign countries. Members of the transition team do set up meetings and forge contacts before the Inauguration, which is not unusual.

Ms Hicks also said Mr Kushner “isn’t trying to hide anything” and would speak to the panel.

US intelligence agencies are currently investigating Trump aides and their contact with Russia. The CIA and the FBI determined the country exerted a campaign of influence to get Mr Trump elected, which the President and Russia have denied.

FBI Director James Comey confirmed the investigation of Trump aides last week at a Senate hearing.

Following the intelligence reports, at least four congressional committees are looking into the extent of alleged collusion with Russia and what impact, if any, it had on the election.

The New York Times reported that later in December last year, Mr Kislyak requested a second meeting with Mr Kushner, and the then-newspaper editor and real estate developer asked a deputy to attend.

At Mr Kislyak’s request, Mr Kushner then met Sergei Gorkov, head of Vnesheconombank, which was also sanctioned by the European Union after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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