Wed, Mar 29, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Trump son-in-law Kushner to face an investigation panel

AFP, WASHINGTON

Senior Advisor to the US President Jared Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, watch as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington on March 17.

Photo: REUTERS

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top aide, Jared Kushner, is to appear before a US Senate panel investigating Russian interference in the US presidential election, the White House said on Monday.

Kushner, 36, was Trump’s main intermediary with foreign governments during last year’s election campaign and now plays that role in the White House.

He arranged meetings between Trump and world leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

However, it was his contacts with Russian officials that are now coming under the microscope, amid explosive allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Trump took to Twitter to insist that the “Trump Russia story is a hoax,” urging lawmakers to instead focus on his losing Democratic rival for the presidency, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former US secretary of state.

US intelligence has concluded that Russia launched a broad-ranging campaign designed to help Trump win the election.

In addition to investigations in the Senate and US House of Representatives, an FBI probe of Russian interference in last year’s presidential election, including Moscow’s possible collusion with Trump’s campaign, is placing the president under even more pressure over his Russia ties.

“Throughout the campaign and transition, Jared Kushner served as the official primary point of contact with foreign governments and officials,” a White House official said.

“Given this role, he has volunteered to speak with Chairman [Richard] Burr’s committee, but has not yet received confirmation,” the official said.

Burr chairs the Senate intelligence committee.

In a joint statement with his Democratic counterpart Senator Mark Warner, Burr said Kushner’s decision to appear showed the panel’s independence.

“From the beginning of this investigation, we have committed to follow the facts wherever they lead us,” they said. “Mr Kushner will certainly not be the last person the committee calls to give testimony, but we expect him to be able to provide answers to key questions that have arisen in our inquiry.”

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