B. Post-Election and Transition-Period Contacts
Trump was elected President on November 8, 2016. Beginning immediately after the election, individuals connected to the Russian government started contacting officials on the Trump Campaign and Transition Team through multiple channels-sometimes through Russian Ambassador Kislyak and at other times through individuals who sought reliable contacts through U.S. persons not formally tied to the Campaign or Transition Team. The most senior levels of the Russian government encouraged these efforts. The investigation did not establish that these efforts reflected or constituted coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia in its election interference activities.
1. Immediate Post-Election Activity
As soon as news broke that Trump had been elected President, Russian government officials and prominent Russian businessmen began trying to make inroads into the new Administration. They appeared not to have preexisting contacts and struggled to connect with senior officials around the President-Elect. As explained below, those efforts entailed both official contact through the Russian Embassy in the United States and outreaches-sanctioned at high levels of the Russian government-through business rather than political contacts.
a. Outreach from the Russian Government
At approximately 3 a.m. on election night, Trump Campaign press secretary Hope Hicks received a telephone call on her personal cell phone from a person who sounded foreign but was calling from a number with a DC area code. Although Hicks had a hard time understanding the person, she could make out the words" Putin call.'' Hicks told the caller to send her an email.
The following morning, on November 9, 2016, Sergey Kuznetsov, an official at the Russian Embassy to the United States, emailed Hicks from his Gmail address with the subject line," Message from Putin.'' Attached to the email was a message from Putin, in both English and Russian, which Kuznetsov asked Hicks to convey to the President-Elect. In the message, Putin offered his congratulations to Trump for his electoral victory, stating he" look[ ed] forward to working with[ Trump] on leading Russian-American relations out of crisis.''
Hicks forwarded the email to Kushner, asking," Can you look into this? Do n't want to get duped but do n't want to blow off Putin! '' Kushner stated in Congressional testimony that he believed that it would be possible to verify the authenticity of the forwarded email through the Russian Ambassador, whom Kushner had previously met in April 2016. Unable to recall the Russian Ambassador 's name, Kushner emailed Dimitri Simes of CNI, whom he had consulted previously about Russia, see Volume I, Section IV.A .4, supra, and asked," What is the name of Russian ambassador? '' Kushner forwarded Simes 's response-which identified Kislyak by name-to Hicks. After checking with Kushner to see what he had learned, Hicks conveyed Putin 's letter to transition officials. Five days later, on November 14, 2016, Trump and Putin spoke by phone in the presence of Transition Team members, including incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
b. High-Level Encouragement of Contacts through Alternative Channels
As Russian officials in the United States reached out to the President-Elect and his team, a number of Russian individuals working in the private sector began their own efforts to make contact. Petr Aven, a Russian national who heads Alfa-Bank, Russia 's largest commercial bank, described to the Office interactions with Putin during this time period that might account for the flurry of Russian activity. ·
Aven told the Office that he is one of approximately 50 wealthy Russian businessmen who regularly meet with Putin in the Kremlin; these 50 men are often referred to as" oligarchs.'' Aven told the Office that he met on a quarterly basis with Putin, including in the fourth quarter( Q4) of 2016, shortly after the U.S. presidential election. Aven said that he took these meetings seriously and understood that any suggestions or critiques that Putin made during these meetings were implicit directives, and that there would be consequences for Aven if he did not follow through. As was typical, the 2016 Q4 meeting with Putin was preceded by a preparatory meeting with Putin 's chief of staff, Anton Vaino.
According to Aven, at his Q4 2016 one-on-one meeting with Putin, Putin raised the prospect that the United States would impose additional sanctions on Russian interests, including sanctions against Aven and/or Alfa-Bank. Putin suggested that Aven needed to take steps to protect himself and Alfa-Bank. Aven also testified that Putin spoke of the difficulty faced by the Russian government in getting in touch with the incoming Trump Administration. According to Aven, Putin indicated that he did not know with whom formally to speak and generally did not know the people around the President-Elect. Aven[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY] told Putin he would take steps to protect himself and the Alfa-Bank from potential sanctions, and one of those steps would be to try to reach out to the incoming Administration to establish a line of communication. Aven described Putin responding with skepticism about Aven 's prospect for success. According to Aven, although Putin did not expressly direct him to reach out to the Trump Transition Team, Aven understood that Putin expected him to try to respond to the concerns he had raised. Aven ' s efforts are described in Volume I, Section IV.B .5, infra.
2. Kirill Dmitriev 's Transition-Era Outreach to the Incoming Administration
Aven 's description of his interactions with Putin is consistent with the behavior of Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian national who heads Russia 's sovereign wealth fund and is closely connected to Putin. Dmitriev undertook efforts to meet members of the incoming Trump Administration in the months after the election. Dmitriev asked a close business associate who worked for the United Arab Emirates( UAE) royal court, George Nader, to introduce him to Trump transition officials, and Nader eventually arranged a meeting in the Seychelles between Dmitriev and Erik Prince, a Trump Campaign supporter and an associate of Steve Bannon. In addition, the UAE national security advisor introduced Dmitriev to a hedge fund manager and friend of Jared Kushner, Rick Gerson, in late November 2016. In December 2016 and January 2017, Dmitriev and Gerson worked on a proposal for reconciliation between the United States and Russia, which Dmitriev implied he cleared through Putin. Gerson provided that proposal to Kushner before the inauguration, and Kushner later gave copies to Bannon and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Dmitriev is a Russian national who was appointed CEO of Russia 's sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund( RDIF), when it was founded in 2011. Dmitriev reported directly to Putin and frequently referred to Putin as his" boss.''
RDIF has co-invested in various projects with UAE sovereign wealth funds. Dmitriev regularly interacted with Nader, a senior advisor to UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed( Crown Prince Mohammed), in connection with RDIF 's dealings with the UAE. Putin wanted Dmitriev to be in charge of both the financial and the political relationship between Russia and the Gulf states, in part because Dmitriev had been educated in the West and spoke English fluently. Nader considered Dmitriev to be Putin 's interlocutor in the Gulf region and would relay Dmitriev 's views directly to Crown Prince Mohammed.
Nader developed contacts with both U.S. presidential campaigns during the 2016 election and kept Dmitriev abreast of his efforts to do so. According to Nader, Dmitriev said that his and the government of Russia 's preference was for candidate Trump to win and asked Nader to assist him in meeting members of the Trump Campaign .997[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY]. Nader did not introduce Dmitriev to anyone associated with the Trump Campaign before the election.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY]. Erik Prince is a businessman who had relationships with various individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, including Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Jr., and Roger Stone. Prince did not have a formal role in the Campaign, although he offered to host a fundraiser for Trump and sent unsolicited policy papers on issues such as foreign policy, trade, and Russian election interference to Bannon.
After the election, Prince frequently visited transition offices at Trump Tower, primarily to meet with Bannon but on occasion to meet Michael Flynn and others. Prince and Bannon would discuss, inter alia, foreign policy issues and Prince 's recommendations regarding who should be appointed to fill key natio ~ sitions. Although Prince was not formally affiliated with the transition, Nader[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY] received assurances[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY] that the incoming Administration considered Prince a trusted associate.
b. Kirill Dmitriev 's Post-Election Contacts With the Incoming Administration Soon after midnight on election night, Dmitriev message[ REDACTED-INVESTIGATIVE TECHINQUE] who was traveling to New York to attend the 2016 World Chess Championship.[ REDACTED-INVESTIGATIVE TECHINQUE] Dmitry Peskov, the Russian Federation 's press secretary, who was also attending the World Chess Championship.[ REDACTED-INVESTIGATIVE TECHINQUE].[ REDACTED-INVESTIGATIVE TECHINQUE].[ REDACTED-INVESTIGATIVE TECHINQUE].
At approximately 2:40 a.m. on November 9, 2016 news reports stated that candidate Clinton had called President-Elect Trump to concede. At[ REDACTED-INVESTIGATIVE TECHINQUE].[ REDACTED-INVESTIGATIVE TECHINQUE] wrote to Dmitriev," Putin has won.''
Later that morning, Dmitriev contacted Nader, who was in New York, to request a meeting with the" key people'' in the incoming Administration as soon as possible in light of the''[ g] reat results.'' He asked Nader to convey to the incoming Administration that" we want to start rebuilding the relationship in whatever is a comfortable pace for them. We understand all of the sensitivities and are not in a rush.'' Dmitriev and Nader had previously discussed Nader introducing him to the contacts Nader had made within the Trump Campaign. Dmitriev also told Nader that he would ask Putin for permission to travel to the United States, where he would be able to speak to media outlets about the positive impact of Trump 's election and the need for reconciliation between the United States and Russia.
Later that day, Dmitriev flew to New York, where Peskov was separately traveling to attend the chess tournament. Dmitriev invited Nader to the opening of the tournament and noted that, if there was" a chance to see anyone key from Trump camp,'' he" would love to start building for the future.'' Dmitriev also asked Nader to invite Kushner to the event so that he( Dmitriev) could meet him. Nader did not pass along Dmitriev 's invitation to anyone connected with the incoming Administration. Although one World Chess Federation official recalled hearing from an attendee that President-Elect Trump had stopped by the tournament, the investigation did not establish that Trump or any Campaign or Transition Team official attended the event. And the President 's written answers denied that he had.
Nader stated that Dmitriev continued to press him to set up a meeting with transition officials, and was particularly focused on Kushner and Trump Jr.. Dmitriev told Nader that Putin would be very grateful to Nader and that a meeting would make history.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY]. According to Nader, Dmitriev was very anxious to connect with the incoming Administration and told Nader that he would try other routes to do so besides Nader himself. Nader did not ultimately introduce Dmitriev to anyone associated with the incoming Administration during Dmitriev ' s post-election trip to New York.
In early December 2016, Dmitriev again broached the topic of meeting incoming Administration officials with Nader in January or February. Dmitriev sent Nader a list of publicly available quotes of Dmitriev speaking positively about Donald Trump" in case they[ were] helpful.''
c. Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev Meet in the Seychelles
i. George Nader and Erik Prince Arrange Seychelles Meeting with Dmitriev
Nader traveled to New York in early January 2017 and had lunchtime and dinner meetings with Erik Prince · on January 3, 2017. Nader and Prince discussed Dmitriev. Nader informed Prince that the Russians were looking to build a link with the incoming Trump Administration.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY] he told Prince that Dmitriev had been pushing Nader to introduce him to someone form the incoming Administration[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY]. Nader suggested in light of Prince 's relationship with Transition Team officials, that Prince and Dmitriev meet to discuss issues of mutual concern.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY] Prince told Nader that he needed to think further about it and to check with Transition Team officials.
After his dinner with Prince, Nader sent Prince a link to a Wikipedia entry about Dmitriev, and sent Dmitriev a message stating that he had just met" with some key people within the family and inner circle''- a reference to Prince-and that he had spoken at length and positively about Dmitriev. Nader told Dmitriev that the people he met had asked for Dmitriev 's bio, and Dmitriev replied that he would update and send it. Nader later received from Dmitriev two files concerning Dmitriev: one was a two-page biography, and the other was a list of Dmitriev 's positive quotes about Donald Trump.
The next morning, Nader forwarded the message and attachments Dmitriev had sent him to Prince. Nader wrote to Prince that these documents were the versions" to be used with some additional details for them''( with" them'' referring to members of the incoming Administration) Prince opened the attachments at Trump Tower within an hour of receiving them. Prince stated that, while he was at Trump Tower that day, he spoke with Kellyanne Conway, Wilbur Ross, Steve Mnuchin, and others while waiting to see Bannon. Cell-site location data for Prince 's mobile phone indicates that Prince remained at Trump Tower for approximately three hours. Prince said that he could not recall whether, during those three hours, he met with Bannon and discussed Dmitriev with him.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].
Prince booked a ticket to the Seychelles on January 7, 2017. The following day, Nader wrote to Dmitriev that he had a" pleasant surprise'' for him, namely that he had arranged for Dmitriev to meet" a Special Guest'' from" the New Team,'' referring to Prince. Nader asked Dmitriev if he could come to the Seychelles for the meeting on January 12, 2017, and Dmitriev agreed.
The following day, Dmitriev sought assurance from Nader that the Seychelles meeting would be worthwhile.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY] Dmitriev was not enthusiastic about the idea of meeting with Prince, and that Nader assured him that Prince wielded influence with the incoming Administration. Nader wrote to Dmitriev," This guy[ Prince] is designate · d by Steve[ Bannon] to meet you! I know him and he is very very well connected and trusted by the New Team. His sister is now a Minister of Education.'' According to Nader, Prince had led him to believe that Bannon was aware of Prince 's upcoming meeting with Dmitriev, and Prince acknowledged that it was fair for Nader to think that Prince would pass information on to the Transition Team. Bannon, however, told the Office that Prince did not tell him in advance about his meeting with Dmitriev.
ii. The Seychelles Meetings
Dmitriev arrived with his wife in the Seychelles on January 11, 2017, and checked into the Four Seasons Resort where Crown Prince Mohammed and Nader were staying. Prince arrived that same day. Prince and Dmitriev met for the first time that afternoon in Nader 's villa, with Nader present. The initial meeting lasted approximately 30-45 minutes.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY]. Prince described the eight years of the Obama Administration in negative terms, and stated that he was looking forward to a new era of cooperation and conflict resolution. According to Prince, he told Dmitriev that Bannon was effective if not conventional, and that Prince provided policy papers to Bannon.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY]. The topic of Russian interference in the 2016 election did not come up.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY]. Prince added that he would inform Bannon about his meeting with Dmitriev, and that if there was interest in continuing the discussion, Bannon or someone else on the Transition Team would do so.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY] .1072
Afterwards, Prince returned to his room, where he learned that a Russian aircraft carrier had sailed to Libya, which led him to call Nader and ask him to set up another meeting with Dmitriev. According to Nader, Prince called and said he had checked with his associates back home and needed to convey to Dmitriev that Libya was" off the table.'' Nader wrote to Dmitriev that Prince had" received an urgent message that he needs to convey to you immediately,'' and arranged for himself, Dmitriev, and Prince to meet at a restaurant on the Four Seasons property.
At the second meeting, Prince told Dmitriev that the United States could not accept any Russian involvement in Lib a because it would make the situation there much worse.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].
After the brief second meeting concluded, Nader and Dmitriev discussed what had transpired .1078 Dmitriev told Nader that he was disappointed in his meetings with Prince for two reasons: first, he believed the Russians needed to be communicating with someone who had more within the incoming Administration than Prince had. Second, he had hoped to have a discussion of greater substance, such as outlining a strategic roadmap for both countries to follow. Dmitriev told Nader that[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY] Prince 's [ REDACTED-GRAND JURY] were insulting[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].
Hours after the second meeting, Prince sent two text messages to Bannon from the Seychelles. As described further below, investigators were unable to obtain the content of these or other messages between Prince and Bannon, and the investigation also did not identify evidence of any further communication between Prince and Dmitriev after their meetings in the Seychelles.
iii. Erik Prince 's Meeting with Steve Bannon after the Seychelles Trip
After the Seychelles meetings, Prince told Nader that he would inform Bannon about his discussion with Dmitriev and would convey that someone within the Russian power structure was interested in seeking better relations with the incoming Administration. On January 12, 2017, Prince contacted Bannon 's personal assistant to set up a meeting for the following week. Several days later, Prince messaged her again asking about Bannon 's schedule.
Prince said that he met Bannon at Bannon 's home after returning to the United States in mid-January and briefed him about several topics, including his meeting with Dmitriev. Prince told the Office that he explained to Bannon that Dmitriev was the head of a Russian sovereign wealth fund and was interested in improving relations between the United States and Russia. Prince had on his cellphone a screenshot of Dmitriev 's Wikipedia page dated January 16, 2017, and Prince told the Office that he likely showed that image to Bannon Prince also believed he provided Bannon with Dmitriev 's contact information. According to Prince, Bannon instructed Prince not to follow up with Dmitriev, and Prince had the impression that the issue was not a priority for Bannon. Prince that Bannon did not appear angry, just relatively uninterested.
Bannon, by contrast, told the Office that he never discussed with Prince anything regarding Dmitriev, RDIF, or any meetings with Russian individuals or people associated with Putin. Bannon also stated that had Prince mentioned such a meeting, Bannon would have remembered it, and Bannon would have objected to such a meeting having taken place.
The conflicting accounts provided by Bannon and Prince could not be independently clarified by reviewing their communications, because neither one was able to produce any of the messages they exchanged in the time period surrounding the Seychelles meeting. Prince 's phone contained no text messages prior to March 2017, though provider records indicate that he and Bannon exchanged dozens of messages. Prince denied deleting any messages but claimed he did not know why there were no messages on his device before March 2017. Bannon 's devices similarly contained no messages in the relevant time period, and Bannon also stated he did not know why messages did not appear on his device. Bannon told the Office that, during both the months before and after the Seychelles meeting, he regularly used his personal Blackberry and personal email for work-related communications( including those with Prince), and he took no steps to preserve these work communications.
d. Kirill Dmitriev 's Post-Election Contact with Rick Gerson Regarding U.S.Russia Relations
Dmitriev 's contacts during the transition period were not limited to those facilitated by Nader. In approximately late November 2016, the UAE national security advisor introduced Dmitriev to Rick Gerson, a friend of Jared Kushner who runs a hedge fund in New York. Gerson stated he had no formal role in the transition and had no involvement in the Trump Campaign other than occasional casual discussions about the Campaign with Kushner. After the election, Gerson assisted the transition by arranging meetings for transition officials with former UK prime minister Tony Blair and a UAE delegation led by Crown Prince Mohammed.
When Dmitriev and Gerson met, they principally discussed potential joint ventures between Gerson 's hedge fund and RDIF. Dmitriev was interested in improved economic cooperation between the United States and Russia and asked Gerson who he should meet with in the incoming Administration who would be helpful towards this goal. Gerson replied that he would try to figure out the best way to arrange appropriate introductions, but noted that confidentiality would be required because of the sensitivity of holding such meetings before the new Administration took power, and before Cabinet nominees had been confirmed by the Senate. Gerson said he would ask Kushner and Michael Flynn who the" key person or people'' were on the topics of reconciliation with Russia, joint security concerns, and economic matters.
Dmitriev told Gerson that he had been tasked by Putin to develop and execute a reconciliation plan between the United States and Russia. He noted in a text message to Gerson that if Russia was" approached with respect and willingness to understand our position, we can have Major Breakthroughs quickly.'' Gerson and Dmitriev exchanged ideas in December 2016 about what such a reconciliation plan would include. Gerson told the Office that the Transition Team had not asked him to engage in these discussions with Dmitriev, and that he did so on his own initiative and as a private citizen.
On January 9, 2017, the same day he asked Nader whether meeting Prince would be worthwhile, Dmitriev sent his biography to Gerson and asked him if he could" it with Jared( or somebody else very senior in the team)- so that they know that we are focused from our side on improving the relationship and my boss asked me to play a key role in that.'' Dmitriev also asked Gerson if he knew Prince, and if Prince was somebody important or worth spending time with. After his trip to the Seychelles, Dmitriev told Gerson that Bannon had asked Prince to meet with Dmitriev and that the two had had a positive meeting.
On January 16, 2017, Dmitriev consolidated the ideas for U.S.-Russia reconciliation that he and Gerson had been discussing into a two-page document that listed five main points:( 1) jointly fighting terrorism;( 2) jointly engaging in anti-weapons of mass destruction efforts;( 3) developing" win-win'' economic and investment initiatives;( 4) maintaining an honest, open, and continual dialogue regarding issues of disagreement; and( 5) ensuring proper communication and trust by" key people'' from each country. On January 18, 2017, Gerson gave a copy of the document to Kushner. Kushner had not heard of Dmitriev at that time. Gerson explained that Dmitriev was the head of RDIF, and Gerson may have alluded to Dmitriev 's being well connected. Kushner placed the document in a file and said he would get it to the right people. Kushner ultimately gave one copy of the document to Bannon and another to Rex Tillerson; according to Kushner, neither of them followed up with Kushner about it. On January 19, 2017, Dmitriev sent Nader a copy of the two-page document, telling him that this was" a view from our side that I discussed in my meeting on the islands and with you and with our friends. Please with them- we believe this is a good foundation to start from.''
Gerson informed Dmitriev that he had given the document to Kushner soon after delivering it. On January 26, 2017, Dmitriev wrote to Gerson that his" boss''- an apparent reference to Putin-was asking if there had been any feedback on the proposal. Dmitriev said,''[ w] e do not want to rush things and move at a comfortable speed. At the same time, my boss asked me to try to have the key US meetings in the next two weeks if possible.'' He informed Gerson that Putin and President Trump would speak by phone that Saturday, and noted that that information was" very confidential.''
The same day, Dmitriev wrote to Nader that he had seen his" boss'' again yesterday who had" emphasized that this is a great priority for us and that we need to build this communication channel to avoid bureaucracy.'' On January 28, 2017, Dmitriev texted Nader that he wanted" to see if I can confirm to my boss that your friends may use some of the ideas from the 2 I sent you in the telephone call that will happen at 12 EST,'' an apparent reference to the call scheduled between President Trump and Putin. Nader replied," Definitely paper was so submitted to Team by Rick and me. They took it seriously! '' After the call between President Trump and Putin occurred, Dmitriev wrote to Nader that" the call went very well. My boss wants me to continue making some public statements that us[ sic] Russia cooperation is good and important.'' Gerson also wrote to Dmitriev to say that the call had gone well, and Dmitriev replied that the document they had drafted together" played an important role.''
Gerson and Dmitriev appeared to stop communicating with one another in approximately March 2017, when the investment deal they had been working on together showed no signs of progressing.
3. Ambassador Kislyak 's Meeting with Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn m Trump Tower Following the Election
On November 16, 2016, Catherine Vargas, an executive assistant to Kushner, received a request for a meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. That same day, Vargas sent Kushner an email with the subject," MISSED CALL: Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak...'' The text of the email read," RE: setting up a time to meet w/you on 12/1. LMK how to proceed.'' Kushner responded in relevant part," I think I do this one-- confirm with Dimitri[ Simes of CNI] that this is the right guy.'' After reaching out to a colleague of Simes at CNI, Vargas reported back to Kushner that Kislyak was" the best go-to guy for routine matters in the US,'' while Yuri Ushakov, a Russian foreign policy advisor, was the contact for" more direct/substantial matters.''
Bob Foresman, the UBS investment bank executive who had previously tried to transmit to candidate Trump an invitation to speak at an economic forum in Russia, see Volume I, Section IV.A.l.d.ii, supra, may have provided similar information to the Transition Team. According to Foresman, at the end of an early December 2016 meeting with incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and his designated deputy( K.T. McFarland) in New York, Flynn asked Foresman for his thoughts on Kislyak. Foresman had not met Kislyak but told Flynn that, while Kislyak was an important person, Kislyak did not have a direct line to Putin. Foresman subsequently traveled to Moscow, inquired of a source he believed to be close to Putin, and heard back from that source that Ushakov would be the official channel for the incoming U.S. national security advisor. Foresman acknowledged that Flynn had not asked him to undertake that inquiry in Russia but told the Office that he nonetheless felt obligated to report the information back to Flynn, and that he worked to get a face-to-face meeting with Flynn in January 2017 so that he could do so. Email correspondence suggests that the meeting ultimately went forward, but Flynn has no recollection of it or of the earlier December meeting.( The investigation did not identify evidence of Flynn or Kushner meeting with Ushakov after being given his name.)
In the meantime, although he had already formed the impression that Kislyak was not necessarily the right point of contact, Kushner went forward with the meeting that Kislyak had requested on November 16. It took place at Trump Tower on November 30, 2016. At Kushner ' s invitation, Flynn also attended; Bannon was invited but did not attend. During the meeting, which lasted approximately 30 minutes, Kushner expressed a desire on the part of the incoming Administration to start afresh with U.S.-Russian relations. Kushner also asked Kislyak to identify the best person( whether Kislyak or someone else) with whom to direct future discussions-someone who had contact with Putin and the ability to speak for him.
The three men also discussed U.S. policy toward Syria, and Kislyak floated the idea of having Russian generals brief the Transition Team on the topic using a secure communications line. After Flynn explained that there was no secure line in the Transition Team offices, Kushner asked Kislyak if they could communicate using secure facilities at the Russian Embassy. Kislyak quickly rejected that idea.