Michael Donhauser
dpa

WASHINGTON: The Washington Post reported Friday that Jared Kushner, Donald Trumpís son-in-law, suggested setting up a secret and secure communications channel between the U.S. presidentís transition team and Moscow, in December discussions with the Russian ambassador.

The report is the latest allegation of potential collusion between Trumpís campaign team and Russia, which U.S. government intelligence agencies have accused of meddling in last yearís election.

Kushner, now a senior adviser to Trump, suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications, according to the Post, which cited U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.

The alleged proposal was made at a meeting on Dec. 1 or Dec. 2 at Trump Tower in New York with Russiaís Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, weeks before Trump took office.

Kislyak, whose communications with Moscow about the meeting were intercepted by the U.S, "reportedly was taken aback by the suggestion," according to the Post.

The December meeting was also attended by Michael Flynn, Trumpís short-lived former national security adviser who is at the center of the FBIís Russia investigation.

The White House only disclosed in March that the meeting took place at all.

The revelations come just a day after U.S. media reported that Kushner was under scrutiny by the FBI as part of their probe, though he was not considered a formal subject like Flynn. It does however place the investigation within the Trump family circle.

The New York Times said the suggestion to establish a secret communications channel was so that Flynn could speak directly with a senior military official in Moscow to discuss Syria, as well as other issues.

A meeting between Kushner and a Russian banker closely linked to Russia President Vladimir Putin is also being examined by the FBI.

Russian interference in the November election is also the subject of two congressional intelligence committee investigations.

At the same time as it broke the news about Kushner, the Post also reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee had asked Trumpís team to hand over all Russia-related documents going back to the launch of his campaign in June 2015.

The request represented the first time that the official campaign structure itself, rather than just campaign associates, had been involved in the Senate investigation, the newspaper said.

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