White House senior aide Jared Kushner wanted to set up a direct line of communication to Russian President Vladimir Putin after Donald Trump won the U.S. election, The New York Times reported.
Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, spoke with a Russian banker while searching for ways to set up the secret line with Putin, a meeting now being investigated by the FBI and Congress. The Russian banker, Sergey N. Gorkov, is a close associate of Putin's.
Kushner's meeting with Gorkov came at the request of Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., whose meeting with several members of Trump's administration during the transition have come under scrutiny.
Kushner's reasoning for setting up the private channel outside of official diplomatic channels was to primarily discuss how the U.S. and Russia could cooperate on ending the civil war in Syria and other policy issues, sources told The New York Times, but the FBI and congressional investigation is looking into whether other items were to be discussed.
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