The Daily Beast publishes the results of an investigation into Jared Kushner’s relationship with Putin confidant Kirill Dmitriev, with the help of over a dozen Trump Administration officials.
Dmitriev can be tied back to Donald Trump as early as 1996, but his first interaction with Jared Kushner (that we know of so far) was in January 2017.
Administration officials reveal that Trump wanted Kushner working on Russia relations away from the view of government officials whose job is to prevent Russia from threatening our national security. Connecting Kushner with Dmitriev was Putin’s idea.
Putin had tasked Dmitriev with connecting to the Trump transition team before the president-elect assigned Kushner to the job, though. Dmitriev tried arranging a meeting with Kushner or Donald Trump Jr. through George Nader, an American colleague who is currently in prison for child pornography.
Dmitriev also got in touch with Rick Gerson, a close friend of Kushner’s. Together they drafted a plan for how the Trump administration could support Russia’s motives for the U.S., and Dmitriev shared the plan with Putin.
On January 11, 2017, Dmitriev and Nader met with Erik Prince on a remote island in the Indian Ocean to go over the plan. Prince is a close friend of Steve Bannon, and Bannon sent Prince to the meeting on his behalf. He’s also the brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
The meeting is believed to have been arranged by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates.
On January 18, 2017, Gerson met with Kushner at the White House to pass the Putin-Dmitriev plan to the Trump transition team. Trump was briefed on the plan and talked to Putin ten days later.
Not long after, Trump informally named Kushner as his go-to adviser for all things foreign policy, especially with matters related to the Middle East. This made Kushner the #1 contact for Mohammad Bin Zayed in the UAE and Mohammed Bin Salman in Saudi Arabia.
In October 2017, Kushner took an unannounced trip to Saudi Arabia where he likely met with Dmitriev. Saudia Arabia was holding a conference called the Future Investment Initiative, and Dmitriev was there to spend Russia’s money.
Over the next two years, Kushner included Dmitriev in conversations about his Middle East peace plan. The two met sometime in May 2019 in person, arranged by the U.S. ambassador in Moscow, Jon Huntsman. No one knows where or when exactly this meeting took place. Officials refuse to say.
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