"Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.
Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.
The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser." Washpost
So, what is revealed in this Washpost story?
1. US SIGINT successfully intercepts and decrypts what must surely be encrypted Russian diplomatic communications. You may think it is obvious that this is true but it is not obvious. Governments always want to believe that their own communications are secured by systems that prevent penetration and decryption by their international adversaries. A great deal of time and effort are expended on maintaining that illusion. This story states above the fold, right corner that US officials who either produced the report of the intercept or received the report of this successful intercept outside the IC in State, Defense, the NSC, etc. informed the Washington Post of the frailty of Russian diplomatic communications. I was once a fixture in the world of Special Security. It was a basic belief in this field that a breach of security like this one reported in the Washpost would result in a massive effort by the penetrated party to change and improve communications systems. Translation – US SIGINT might have to start all over again in the process of breaking into those communications.
2. Jared Kushner does not seem to have understood the possibility that US SIGINT would intercept and decrypt any line of communications he managed to establish through Russian diplomatic facilities. Conclusion - He was a very ignorant fellow in such matters.
3. LTG (ret.) Flynn was present at the meeting. Flynn is a career intelligence officer who had been Director of DIA. Surely, HE, knew better but evidently said nothing to Kushner like – Hey, dummy rich kid – you can't do something so stupid! But, on the other hand, maybe it was Flynn's idea! Yes! I will bet that is the truth. Flynn probably wanted to talk to the Russian generals privately. Another dummy heard from!
4. US officials, evidently properly cleared, chose to violate their oath of clearance access to reveal one of the Crown Jewels of US intelligence from a sense of pique or frustrated revolutionary zeal. These people can be IC officials or more likely they are cleared individual recipients who work in non-IC parts of the government. IMO they deserve hanging.
Was Kislyak "taken aback" by the proposal.? This was so brainless an idea that I would think that was true. pl