President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, made a pre-inauguration proposal to the Russian ambassador to set up a secret, bug-proof communications line with the Kremlin, the Washington Post reported on Friday.
Kushner, then and now an adviser to Trump, went so far as to suggest using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States to protect such a channel from being monitored, the Post said, quoting US officials briefed on intelligence reports.
The paper said the proposal was made December 1 or 2 at Trump Tower in New York, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by US officials.
Michael Flynn, who would become Trump's national security adviser before being fired 24 days into the job, was also at the meeting.
The Post was first alerted in mid-December to details of the meeting by an anonymous letter https://t.co/kp7Z9eZwux
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 26, 2017
The Washington Post article did not say what came of Kushner's proposal.
The report is another sensational detail in the deluge of allegations raising questions about the Trump team's relationship with the Russians, whom US intelligence agencies say tried to sway the November election in Trump's favour and thus deny Hillary Clinton the presidency.
Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak was surprised by Kushner's idea of the secret channel and passed it on to the Kremlin, the Post said.
Kushner is a polished 36-year-old property developer married to Trump's daughter Ivanka.
The Post previously reported that investigators are focusing on meetings he held in December with Kislyak and the head of a Russian bank that has been under US sanctions since 2014.
Kushner has offered to talk to Congress about these meetings, according to his lawyer Jamie Gorelick.
The Post reported last week that the Russia investigation had been extended to a top White House official as a "significant person of interest."
Kushner is the only person currently in the White House known to be under investigation.