While the top goons of the Trump administration—including Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka—traveled around the world acting like some self-entitled royal family, a bombshell was developing back home that could bring them all down. And isn’t it fitting that the one whose actions eventually let the cat out of the bag on the Trump clan’s interests in Russia would be Kushner.
If Friday’s Washington Post story proves to be true, Kushner—who reportedly pressured Trump to fire former FBI Directory James Comey—along with former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and others have stepped way over the legal line. According to former intelligence officials, these actions may indicate criminal conspiracy and even treason.
The Post broke the story that Kushner and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak discussed the possibility of setting up back channel communications with the Kremlin, presumably to avoid being monitored by U.S. officials. Kushner allegedly proposed this idiotic plan during a meeting at Trump Tower on Dec. 1 or 2, before Trump’s inauguration.
If true, that’s a big, big problem for Kushner and potentially Trump himself. And it’s telling that neither Kushner or the White House is denying the report.
Details of the meeting, which U.S. intelligence officials learned of by monitoring Russian officials’ conversations with Moscow, were leaked to the newspaper in an anonymous letter sent back in December. In the report, intelligence officials confirmed that their investigations reflect details described in the letter.
Speaking on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” on Friday, former CIA Acting Director John McLaughlin offered a sobering and compelling analysis that’s worth hearing in full. McLaughlin, who intimately knows the world of intelligence and communications after serving 32 years at the CIA, said his initial reaction upon reading the story was, “Is this a prank?”
Following are excerpts of his comments to MSNBC, emphasis mine:
It’s not the sort of thing that you would expect to happen in a normal transition…I see all of this through the eyes of an intelligence officer, of course, and it’s simultaneously familiar and bizarre—familiar in the sense that I know secret channels. I’ve used them all of my life. Bizarre in the sense that it’s a proposed secret channel through the government that is probably the most active government in the world in carrying out espionage against the United States…
I can’t keep out of my mind the thought that if an American intelligence officer had done anything like this, we’d consider it espionage…I think we’re all struggling to understand. I think to some degree the Trump administration at these senior levels is being consumed by its own hubris. They must think of themselves as masters of the universe. And put that in combination with their evident, and this is what I think bothers me personally the most, their seeming contempt of American institutions.
The denigrating things they’ve said about everything from our judiciary to our intelligence agencies. These institutions…are the functions of our democracy. And I can’t help thinking that in the background of all of this is that sophomoric idea we used to hear about deconstructing the administrative state. That somehow we shouldn’t use these institutions, we should use the ones we trust more, the Russians? That doesn’t make any sense to me.
I always suspected that it might be idiot-boy Jared who would help bring down this entire house of cards. That would truly be an astounding case of karma.
Watch McLaughlin’s entire interview: