Responding to the bombshell that Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, tried to set up a secret communications channel with Russia, counterterrorism expert Malcolm Nance blasted Kushner, saying those investigating the matter should assume the worst.
“There is no reason that any of these communications should have happened, much less 18 of them,” Nance said. “No other administration in transition has ever had communications with a foreign adversary at all.”
Malcolm Nance goes off on Kushner: Was he planning to share the president’s daily briefing with Putin? pic.twitter.com/I8Edh9KRAm
— Sean Colarossi (@SeanColarossi) May 27, 2017
People are saying that maybe [Kushner] was just naive. This isn’t naive. This is a man who came from a billion dollar industry. He knows what the meaning of going into another corporation’s headquarters and then using their secure communications with me, and how that would look, certainly to the United States. There is a lot more than ‘why’ here, which is always the question we in the intelligence community ask. Another question that really needs to be answered, and right now … is what did he intend to transmit through Russia’s secure cryptographic systems to communicate with Vladimir Putin? The presidential daily briefing? The nuclear codes? I don’t know, because everyone in intelligence has to assume that that’s what we was going to do. There is no reason that any of this should have happened, and the FBI needs to dig into this right now.
As Nance said, Kushner isn’t totally ignorant and likely knew exactly what he was doing – it’s just that he never intended his actions would be discovered. The questions that remain are what he intended to share with Putin and what kind of damage that information could have done to the United States if such a line of communication was developed.
It’s also important to note, as Boston Globe contributor Michael Cohen said this morning, that the type of “back channel” the Trump team was trying to set up with Russia was being organized after it was known that Moscow interfered in the U.S. presidential election.
Missing from back channel coverage: Trump folks were trying to organize it 2 months after intel agencies said Russia interfered in election
— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) May 27, 2017
Why in the world would Trump’s team want to set up communications with the Russians after knowing they waged an attack on our electoral process? Perhaps because it helped Trump win? Maybe because they were working together to tilt the election against Hillary Clinton?
These questions have yet to be answered, but Kushner’s secret communications with the Russians raise some of the most serious red flags yet.