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Jared Kushner’s, Donald Trump’s secretive meetings with Saudi Arabia, Putin, Kim Jong Un


BY JESSICA KWONG ON 5/7/19 President Donald Trump and his son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner have been accused of breaking the law by failing to keep records of their meetings with foreign government officials including Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and top Saudi officials.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday against Trump and the executive office of the president, the watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) alleged that White House officials including the president and Kushner seem to have violated the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act by intentionally neglecting to create and keep records of meetings with Putin and Kim, among other foreign officials.

“There are a lot of questions surrounding Jared Kushner and the extent to which he, like the president, has an agenda that also serves his own personal and family business interests,” CREW’s chief FOIA counsel Anne Weismann told Newsweek on Tuesday.

The suit cites news reports that Trump had at least five different meetings with Putin with no notetaker in the room, meaning an official record of the meeting does not exist. Trump also confiscated a State Department interpreter’s notes after meeting with Putin in Germany, and had a private meeting with Kim in Vietnam with two interpreters but no record was produced, according to the suit.

In addition, the suit raises a recent meeting Kushner had with top Saudi officials that did not include State Department officials, and from which no record was created.

“The absence of records in these circumstances when the President and his top advisers are exercising core constitutional and statutory powers causes real, incalculable harm to our national security and the ability of our government to effectively conduct foreign policy,” the suit states, “Because the documentary record of this administration’s foreign policy regarding Russia, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia will be unavailable to policy makers and forever lost to history.”

Weismann said Kushner—whom Trump tasked with creating a supposedly soon-to-be-released Middle East peace plan—is meeting with very sophisticated and possibly adversarial foreign leaders and “that alone raises concerns.”

“He may be compromising American interests in ways that we don’t know about,” Weismann said. “Even if he’s not acting to pursue his business or financial interests, he doesn’t come to the job with experience in foreign relations.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek on Tuesday.

Co-plaintiffs in the suit are the National Security Archive and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, which has nearly 1,000 members.

“The problem goes beyond improperly shredding records, to the deliberate failure to create the records in the first place,” stated Tom Blanton, director of the archive, which has sued past presidents who failed to keep records.

Neglecting to make and preserve records “undermines the principle of government accountability that is the very bedrock of democracy,” the historians society president Barbara Keys stated.


November 12, 2019 - Posted by | politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA

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