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Trump son-in-law Kushner under FBI investigation in Russia probe: Media reports

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner arrives to join US President Donald Trump and the rest of the US delegation to meet with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Photograph: (Reuters)

Reuters Washington, DC, United States May 26, 2017, 12.51 AM (IST)

President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser, is under scrutiny by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the Russia probe, the Washington Post and NBC News reported on Thursday.

Kushner is being investigated because of his interactions with Russians, including the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow, the Post reported, citing people familiar with the investigation. It is not known whether Kushner has received any requests from the FBI for records, NBC News said.

Kushner is the only current White House official known to be considered a key person in the probe, the newspaper reported.

The FBI, several congressional committees and a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department are looking into allegations of meddling by Russia in the 2016 US election and possible ties between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian officials seeking to influence the election.

The controversy has engulfed Trump's administration since he fired FBI Director James Comey on May 10. Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations and Trump denies any collusion with Russia.

The interest in Kushner does not mean investigators suspect him of a crime or intend to charge him, the officials told NBC News. It is not known whether Kushner has received any requests from the FBI for records, NBC News said.

One of Kushner's attorneys, Jamie Gorelick, said in a statement her client would cooperate with the investigation.

“Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry,” Gorelick said. The FBI and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

Critics have noted that when filling out his application for top secret security clearance Kushner failed to disclose numerous foreign contacts, including with at least two high-profile Russians during the lead up to Trump's entry into the White House, reports the New York Times.

This includes meeting the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, and also the head of a Russian state-owned bank, in a meeting organised by Kislyak. Concealing such contacts is a felony.

Kushner and his lawyers claimed the failure to mention these contacts was an innocent mistake that they corrected when it was made known.

Other people connected to Trump under federal investigation for their link to Russia include the former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and ex-campaign staff Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone.

President Trump has dismissed allegations that he or his campaign had anything to do with Russia. On the Justice Department's decision to appoint a special prosecutor into the possible collusion between Trump and Russia, Trump said, "I respect the move," but also distanced himself, saying "the entire thing has been a witch hunt."

 "And there is no collusion between, certainly, myself and my campaign--but I can always speak for myself--and the Russians," he said.

"Zero."

(WION with inputs from Reuters)

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