What the Mueller report says about Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. – NBC News
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report contains plenty of new details about President Donald Trump’s actions before and after the 2016 election — but it also puts a spotlight on the family members he’s leaned on during the campaign and his presidency.
Notably, the report contains revelations about a 2016 meeting between the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn and a Russian envoy. It also provides details about how the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and other members of the president’s inner circle reacted after learning about eldest son Donald Trump Jr.’s emails setting up the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians; and it confirms correspondence between Donald Jr. and WikiLeaks about hacked Clinton campaign emails.
Among Kushner’s many appearances in the report is his and Flynn’s meeting with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower in New York after the 2016 election. The New York Times and others reported that the meeting that November was about improving relations between the two countries, and they discussed establishing a secure line of communication with Russia.
Mueller’s report confirms those details and adds that the three also discussed U.S. policy toward Syria.
At the 30-minute meeting, which Kislyak requested, Kushner “expressed a desire on the part of the incoming Administration to start afresh with U.S.-Russian relations,” the report said.
Kushner “asked Kislyak to identify the best person (whether Kislyak or someone else) with whom to direct future discussions — someone who had contact with Putin and the ability to speak for him,” the report said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The three men “also discussed U.S. policy toward Syria, and Kislyak floated the idea of having Russian generals brief the Transition Team on the topic using a secure communications line,” the report said.
When Flynn replied that there was no secure line in the transition team offices, “Kushner asked Kislyak if they could communicate using secure facilities at the Russian Embassy. Kislyak quickly rejected that idea.”
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The president’s eldest daughter and senior White House aide is mentioned a handful of times in the redacted report, including in the response of senior administration officials to learning about Donald Jr.’s emails setting up a June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting with then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Kushner and Russians offering negative information on Hillary Clinton.
The president became aware of the emails, which said the meeting was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” by June 2017, the report said.
On multiple occasions over the next several weeks, Trump told his aides not to publicly disclose the emails, and then he dictated a statement about the meeting, to be issued by Donald Jr., that described the meeting as having been about foreign adoptions, the report said.
Then-communications adviser Hope Hicks recalled discussing with Kushner and Ivanka Trump that the emails were damaging and would inevitably be leaked, suggesting the best strategy would be to proactively release the emails to the press, the report said. But when they approached the president about the emails, Trump shut the conversation down and told them not to go to the press.
At a meeting between them and the president in late June, “Hicks warned the President that the emails were ‘really bad’ and the story would be ‘massive’ when it broke, but the President was insistent that he did not want to talk about it and said he did not want details,” the report said.
Ivanka Trump was also present at a “regular morning meeting of senior campaign staff and Trump family members” in the days before the Trump Tower meeting in which Donald Jr. announced he had a lead on “negative information about the Clinton Foundation,” the report said, citing interviews with former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates. Manafort, Eric Trump and Hicks were also at the meeting, with Ivanka Trump and Kushner joining late, the report said.
“Gates believed that Trump Jr. said the information was coming from a group in Kyrgyzstan and that he was introduced to the group by a friend,” the report said. It added, “According to Gates, Manafort warned the group that the meeting likely would not yield vital information and they should be careful.”
Donald Trump Jr.
In addition to his well-publicized interactions over the meeting with Russians at Trump Tower in the summer of 2016, Donald Jr. is also mentioned in the report regarding his correspondence with WikiLeaks prior to its dumping of hacked emails from her campaign chairman John Podesta.
In September 2016, the report says, Trump Jr. received a direct message on Twitter from WikiLeaks about a soon-to-be-launched anti-Trump website, PutinTrump.org, and asking for any comments.
Several hours later, the report said, Trump Jr. emailed senior campaign staff telling them he “got a weird Twitter DM from wikileaks.” He responded to WikiLeaks’ by direct message: “Off the record, l don’t know who that is but I’ll ask around. Thanks.”
A couple weeks later, WikiLeaks messaged him again, asking for help spreading a link alleging that Clinton had pushed for using a drone to target Julian Assange.
“Trump Jr. responded that he already ‘had done so,’ and asked, ‘what’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?'” the report said.
WikiLeaks did not respond, but several days later it wrote him again, saying it was “great to see you and your dad talking about our publications. Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us wlsearch.tk,” which the group said would help Trump parse through leaked emails. Two days later, Trump Jr. tweeted the link.