U.S. Senate panel to question Trump son-in-law on Russia | Reuters
By Patricia Zengerle | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking to interview President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as part of its investigation into ties between Trump associates and Russian officials.Rebecca Glover Watkins, a spokeswoman for Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, confirmed that Kushner has been called.
By Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking to interview President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as part of its investigation into ties between Trump associates and Russian officials.Rebecca Glover Watkins, a spokeswoman for Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, confirmed that Kushner has been called. Kushner, an adviser to Trump during his presidential campaign and in the White House, would be the closest person to the president to be questioned in the congressional investigations into Russia's role in the 2016 election.At least four congressional committees are probing possible Russian attempts to influence the vote and any ties between Moscow and Trump associates. FBI Director James Comey confirmed the agency's investigation last week.A White House official told Reuters that Kushner has volunteered to speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee but has not received confirmation.
The official said Kushner was the main point of contact with foreign governments and officials during the presidential campaign and transition. Members of a president-elect's team routinely meet with Russians or other foreign officials. The Senate panel wants to ask Kushner about two meetings arranged with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak at Trump Tower in New York in December, as well as a meeting with the head of Russia's state-owned development bank.
The bank, Vnesheconombank, was among the Russian banks sanctioned by the Obama administration in 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea.The New York Times first reported the committee's request and details of the meetings with the Russians. Watkins confirmed the report. The U.S. intelligence community has concluded Moscow orchestrated the hacking of Democratic Party groups during the campaign and released the stolen information to benefit Trump. Russia has denied the allegations.
Kushner arranged a meeting with Kislyak in early December that was also attended by Trump's short-lived national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who was fired after misrepresenting his contacts with the ambassador.Later that month, the Times reported, Kislyak requested a second meeting, which Kushner asked a deputy to attend. The Russian ambassador asked that Kushner meet with Sergei Gorkov, head of Vnesheconombank, which was also sanctioned by the European Union after Russian interference in Ukraine.The New York Times first reported the committee's request and details of the meetings with the Russians. Watkins confirmed the report. (Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.