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‘Americans can die’: Ex-CIA agent hammers Kushner for ‘criminal’ actions involving Russian contacts

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- Commentary

In Saturday’s episode of AM Joy, host Joy Reid assembled a panel to discuss the biggest news of the weekend: that Friday night Washington Post news dump that revealed President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner had reportedly set up an undisclosed meeting with Russians to establish a backchannel during the president’s transition.

Reid cited the Post‘s report that claimed Kushner was aware of how “politically sensitive it would be to meet with the Russians,” and, perhaps even more stunningly, that Reuters reported that a sanctioned Russian bank could provide the president’s son-in-law with loans in exchange for meetings with the president.

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“This isn’t just politically-sensitive — this may just be criminal,” said former CIA special agent Jack Rice, one of Reid’s panelists. “There are people in the intelligence community and certainly prosecutors starting to sharpen their knives here.”

“Let’s think about where we are here,” Rice said. “We’re finally at a place where we’re starting to not see lies but this starts to sound like the conspiracy that people in the intelligence community are petrified about.”

As more information about what Kushner “was trying to get to the Russians” is revealed, Rice warned that this is when matters go from the merely naive to the criminal.

“The problem that we really have is that Americans die as a result of this,” Rice said. “People, including our allies, can die because of this. This is why you start to look at this from a criminal perspective. This is the reason you have to start contemplating why you prosecute people who do this sort of thing.”

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Later in the segment, Reid, along with retired Naval codebreaker and regular guest Malcolm Nance, discussed the “nexus” of connections between Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak that now appears to include Trump aides like Carter Page, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Jeff Sessions and Kushner.

“You’re just going to have to assume there’s an espionage component to this,” Nance said. “Otherwise it would be negligent to not believe these people were being handled by the Russians themselves.”

“It would be a hell of a lot of coincidences,” Reid concluded.

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Watch the entire segment, including commentary from Reid’s other panelists, below via MSNBC.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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