MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Washington Post reported on May 27 that Kushner and former national security adviser Michael Flynn met with Kislyak last December in Trump Tower to discuss setting up a secure communication channel to shield pre-inauguration talks from the US intelligence eavesdropping.
"I did not suggest a secret 'back channel.' I did not suggest an on-going secret form of communication for then or for when the administration took office. I did not raise the possibility of using the embassy or any other Russian facility for any purpose other than this one possible conversation in the transition period," Kushner said in a statement he plans to submit for the record, a copy of which was obtained and published by The Washington Post on Monday.According to the media outlet, Kushner plans to detail in testimony to Congress the meetings with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign and transition period, however, the adviser will deny any improper contacts.
Kushner said added that he recalled no calls with Kislyak during the 2016 presidential campaign.
"Reuters news service has reported that I had two calls with Ambassador Kislyak at some time between April and November of 2016. While I participated in thousands of calls during this period, I do not recall any such calls with the Russian Ambassador. We have reviewed the phone records available to us and have not been able to identify any calls to any number we know to be associated with Ambassador Kislyak and I am highly skeptical these calls took place," he said in a written statement, as quoted by the CNN broadcaster.On May 30, the New York Times reported citing its sources that Kushner could have held a meeting in 2016 with the chief of Russia's state development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB), Sergey Gorkov, allegedly to establish a basis of communication between the US administration and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
US media outlets and officials have repeatedly accused members of Trump's team of having contacts with Russia, alleging that Moscow used these contacts for its own ends and even meddled in the US 2016 presidential election. Moscow has repeatedly refuted the US allegations, saying it had no intention to meddle in internal affairs of other states.