Kushner, Flynn met with Russian ambassador during transition

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner met with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. at Trump Tower in December, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn also attended a meeting between President Trump’s son-in-law and Sergey Kislyak a month before Trump took office. Flynn was ousted last month after the revelation that he misled senior White House officials about separate conversations he had with Kislyak.

The meeting was intended to “establish a line of communication” between the soon-to-be Trump administration and the Kremlin, the White House told the newspaper.


The New Yorker reported earlier this week that Kushner met with Kislyak in December. The White House confirmed Thursday that Flynn was also present at that meeting.

White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks said the meeting was one of many between Kushner and foreign officials, and was intended to build rapport between future Trump administration officials and Moscow.

“They generally discussed the relationship and it made sense to establish a line of communication,” she told the Times.

“Jared has had meetings with many other foreign countries and representatives — as many as two dozen other foreign countries’ leaders and representatives.”

Kushner has not met with Kislyak since then, Hicks said.

Kislyak became the centerpiece of another controversy Wednesday night, when it was revealed that Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump O'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump MORE met with him twice during last year's presidential campaign, then denied speaking with any Russian officials during his confirmation hearings.

Facing a wave of bipartisan pressure, Sessions on Thursday said he would recuse himself from any investigations into Russia's links to the Trump campaign. Many Democratic leaders, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis Schumer4 in 5 Americans say they support net neutrality: poll GOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar MORE (D-N.Y.), say that's not enough and want Sessions to resign as attorney general.