February 28, 2018 / 3:38 AM / 4 months ago

Kushner's foreign contacts raised concerns at White House - report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Officials from China, the United Arab Emirates and at least two other countries privately talked about ways they could control Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, a Washington Post report said on Tuesday, citing current and former U.S. officials.

FILE PHOTO: White House senior adviser Jared Kushner delivers remarks on the Trump administration's approach to the Middle East region at the Saban Forum in Washington, U.S., December 3, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan/File Photo

The foreign officials, also from Israel and Mexico, sought to take advantage of Kushner’s business arrangements, financial difficulties, and lack of foreign policy experience, according to unnamed U.S. officials the report said were familiar with intelligence reports on the matter.

Kushner’s lawyer Abbe Lowell did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the report.

It was not clear whether any of the countries had acted on the talks about Kushner, but his business contacts with some foreign officials have raised concerns inside the White House, and were one reason he has been unable to obtain a permanent security clearance, the report said.

Kushner, a wealthy New York businessman married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, has lost access to the President’s Daily Brief, the most valued U.S. intelligence report, as the White House imposes greater discipline on access to secrets, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

A White House spokesman for Kushner did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the Washington Post report.

Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, learned that Kushner had contacts with foreign officials that he did not officially report or coordinate through official channels, the report said. The foreign officials’ beliefs of Kushner’s vulnerabilities were items raised in McMaster’s daily intelligence briefings, the report said.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Michael Perry

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