(JTA) — Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, attended a controversial meeting in December between a Russian diplomat and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, The New York Times reported.
The meeting between Kushner, Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak lasted 20 minutes at Trump Tower and was intended to “establish a line of communication,” White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The Times on Thursday.
The FBI is investigating alleged Russian involvement in November’s U.S. presidential election. Flynn resigned after failing to disclose the nature of calls he had with Kislyak in which he reportedly urged the Russians not to respond to sanctions imposed or planned by the Obama administration, saying relations would improve under Trump.
Kushner was not known to have participated in talks with Russian officials prior to the report.
“Jared has had meetings with many other foreign countries and representatives – as many as two dozen other foreign countries’ leaders and representatives,” Hicks said, adding that Kushner has not met with Kislyak since the December meeting.
In an interview with the Times of London, Trump said that Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband, would 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.
Kushner is Jewish and has visited Israel many times. His wife underwent an Orthodox conversion before their wedding in 2010.