China invites Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner to visit Beijing


Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) told host Wolf Blitzer that he has compelling evidence to suggest President Donald Trump's disgraced national security adviser Mike Flynn is cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and potentially has been "for some time".

Democrats on a key House panel are pressing the White House on why former national security adviser Michael Flynn was allowed to maintain top-level security clearances despite allegations of security concerns while Flynn was at the White House.

That request came after reports that Kushner sought a back channel to Moscow that would rely on Russian facilities in an apparent attempt to avoid detection by American officials.

Moreover, Kushner "failed to correct the public record after President Trump and other White House officials repeatedly made public statements denying contacts between the Trump team and Russian officials, even after the scandal surrounding General Flynn". The New York Times reported Wednesday that, for three weeks before he was sacked, Flynn sat in on the most sensitive intelligence briefings in the White House.

The Democrats' letter was copied to the committee's newly installed Republican chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC.

The FBI is investigating the 2016 Trump presidential campaign for possible ties to Russia at a time previous year when the Russian government was running a computer hacking operation to disrupt the American electoral process and help put Trump in the White House.

"Concerns about General Flynn's false statements - as well as his concealment of communications with the Russian ambassador - raised obvious security concerns that should have resulted in an immediate suspension of his clearance while an investigation of the allegations proceeded", Cummings wrote.

Among those meetings that he omitted was a December meeting with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the USA, and another with the head of a Russian bank.

A White House spokesman deferred comment on Flynn to the Marc Kasowitz, Trump's outside counsel. A senior White House official said Cummings sent his request to the wrong place. Yet Flynn retained his security clearance and sat in on top-level intelligence briefings, the letter said.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the investigation, said they planned to discuss more what they were looking for in the second batch of documents they are seeking from Flynn.

"If Kushner's clearance is still being adjudicated, and there is this red flag of his failure to properly report numerous contacts with foreign government officials on his SF86, that would be major matter of concern in terms of him being in charge of this mission to the Middle East", Moss said.

Elijah Cummings, from oversight, and Eliot Engel, from foreign affairs, have demanded a full set of documents on the plan, ABC News reported.

The company promoting the scheme, X-Co Dynamics Inc./Iron Bridge Group, run by a group of retired generals and equivalent ranks from other services, had Flynn involved to advise on producing a security plan.



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