Another Dot to connect – Jared Kushner meets a Russian banker in New York

Why did Kushner meet with a Russian banker whose bank is under U.S. sanctions?

In December, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser met privately with the head of a Russian bank under U.S. sanctions.

The People

  1. Jared Kushner:

    • Son-in-law and close adviser to Trump
  2. Sergey Gorkov:

    • Chairman of Russian state-run development bank, Vnesheconombank (VEB), which is under U.S. sanctions
    • Appointed to job by President Vladimir Putin

The Meeting

Date: December 2016

Place: New York City

Topic: This is disputed. The White House says Kushner was acting as an adviser to President-elect Trump during the transition period and was a “conduit” to world leaders until Trump named a Secretary of State. The bank says Gorkov met with Kushner as he was meeting with banking and business officials worldwide to discuss a new strategic plan for the financially troubled bank.

The Question

Why did Kushner meet with a Russian banker whose bank is under U.S. sanctions?

The Significance

If Kushner and Gorkov discussed sanctions, their meeting would raise the prospect that Trump would lift the sanctions, a move he said during the campaign that he would consider.

There is no indication that Kushner and Gorkov discussed sanctions. Several Russian banks – but not VEB – have been lobbying to lift or ease the sanctions since they were imposed.

After the meeting was reported, Kushner volunteered to speak to Congressional committees that are investigating Russia’s election activities and any ties between Trump associates and the Kremlin.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, a Republican of South Carolina, questioned why Kushner would meet with a banker. “I think he needs to explain himself,” Graham told the Today Show on March 28.

Credit CNN

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