'A blaring red siren': Maddow nails Kushner for his clandestine meeting with a Putin-backed Russian banker
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow (image via screengrab).

MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber's "The Beat" featured an exclusive interview with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who had been the richest man in Russia before crossing Vladimir Putin and being sent to jail. The former oligarch sat with Melber in his first American TV interview since Donald Trump was sworn in as president.


Following the captivating interview, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow joined the show to analyze the implications and connect the dots as to what was potentially revealed about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"I do think he made some news in what he told you about Sergey Gorkov," Maddow concluded. "So one of the Trump administration, Trump transition, Trump campaign Russian government contacts that was not disclosed until independent investigators found out about it was this meeting with Gorkov."

Gorkov allegedly runs Vladimir Putin's "private slush fund" and is a Putin-appointed former Russian intelligence agent.

"For Khodorkovsky, what did he tell you? He said 'I have no doubt he wouldn't do anything on his own behalf, he is a man who carries out orders.' That's important news about that meeting and there's still been no explanation as to what happened there and why Jared Kushner was meeting with him during the transition," Maddow explained.

"There's a total contradiction between them so either the Russian bank is telling the truth or the Trump administration is telling the truth -- but it was either a diplomatic meeting or a business meeting," Melber replied, who also noted a full denial by VPT bank.

"Vladimir Putin personally appointed Sergey Gorkov to the job he was in when he met with Jared Kushner," Maddow reminded. "Gorkov meeting with Kushner is not just a red flag, it is a blaring red siren."

Maddow wondered if Kushner should even be in the White House without explaining this meeting with Gorkov.

Kushner's "security clearance application was a complete disaster in terms of disclosing his foreign contacts, his answers about whether or not anybody from the Trump campaign or the transition had been in contact with Russian officials is a complete disaster in terms of what we later learned about those contacts that he didn't disclose," Maddow explained. "But this Gorkov meeting in particular, what was it about? The White House should have to say what it's about if Jared Kushner is going to continue to work in the White House."

Watch Rachel Maddow explain the significance of Ari Melber's exclusive interview with Mikhail Khodorkovsky: