North Korea looked to set up communications back channel through Kushner: report

North Korea looked to set up communications back channel through Kushner: report
© Greg Nash

An American businessman looked to set up a communications back channel between North Korea and the Trump administration through White House senior adviser and President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand urges opposition to Kavanaugh: Fight for abortion rights 'is now or never' Trump claims tariffs on foreign nations will rescue US steel industry: report Bannon announces pro-Trump movie, operation team ahead of midterms: report MORE's son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerOvernight Health Care: Lawsuit challenges Arkansas Medicaid work requirements | CVS program targets high-cost drugs | Google parent invests in ObamaCare startup Oscar Hillicon Valley: Omarosa drops bombshell claim about Trump, WikiLeaks | Dems turn up heat over fake FCC cyberattack | Uber hires ex-NSA official to improve security | FBI boosts cyber team Google parent invests 5M in ObamaCare startup Oscar MORE last year, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

Financier Gabriel Schulze reportedly contacted the Trump administration last summer, saying that a top North Korean official wanted to speak with Kushner about a possible meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Kushner referred the talks to then-CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoKavanaugh has 'productive' meeting with key swing votes 17 times Brennan has torched Trump Diplomats who have kids with special needs say Pompeo is ignoring their pleas: report MORE, according to the Times, which noted that Kushner may not have contacted then-Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonDems want GOP chairman to subpoena State Department over cyber docs Overnight Energy: Trump elephant trophy tweets blindsided staff | Execs of chemical plant that exploded during hurricane indicted | Interior to reverse pesticide ban at wildlife refuges Administration should use its leverage to get Egypt to improve its human rights record MORE because of their tense relationship.

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The White House and CIA declined to comment to the Times about Schulze’s reported contact with Kushner.

“I do not discuss the nature of my business or personal relationships,” Schulze told the newspaper in a statement.

Kushner also reportedly created a back channel between Chinese officials and the Trump administration last year.

Kushner and the Chinese ambassador to the U.S. then organized a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to the Times.

Kushner held a series of meetings with the ambassador during the transition without Chinese experts present, a move that concerned former and current U.S. officials, the Times added.

Trump held a summit with Kim last week, the first-ever meeting between a U.S. president and North Korean leader.

The two leaders agreed that the U.S. would provide unspecified security guarantees in exchange for North Korea’s denuclearization. Trump also announced he would halt military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea.