White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The White House acknowledged on Thursday that former Trump national security advisor pick Michael Flynn met with the Russian ambassador in December, and that Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also took part in the meeting, The New York Times reported.
The meeting, which lasted 20 minutes, took place at Trump Tower between Kushner, Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, and was meant to "establish a line of communication," explained Hope Hicks, a White House spokeswoman.
noted that it is "common and not improper" for officials in transition to meet with foreign dignitaries, but meetings between the Trump team and Russians are significant considering the FBI's current investigation into alleged Russian interference in November's US election. The Times
also noted that this meeting came at just the time when the Obama administration was preparing to sanction Russia for said interference.
Ms. Hicks added, "Jared has had meetings with many other foreign countries and representatives - as many as two dozen other foreign countries' leaders and representatives." She also said that Kushner has not met with Mr. Kislyak since that meeting.
Michael Flynn resigned in February
after his discussions of US sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office were discovered.
In an interview with the Times of London
, Trump said that Kushner, Ivanka Trump's husband, would to take on the task of negotiating peace between Israelis and Palestinians
– an appointment Trump had previously floated due to the fact that Kushner "knows the region, knows the people, knows the players," Trump described in a previous interview. Michael Wilner contributed to this report.