May 26, 2017

Kushner offers to cooperate

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

After Jared Kushner was named Thursday as the "current White House official" under scrutiny about Russia, a statement from his lawyer suggested he has not been contacted by investigators.

The lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, said: "Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry."

  • Between the lines: The "if" suggests that hasn't happened.
  • What's new? The WashPost says in the lead story of Friday's paper: "Kushner, who held meetings in December with the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow, is being investigated because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians."
  • Also per The Post: "[I]nvestigators are also looking broadly into possible financial crimes ... [P]eople familiar with the matter ... did not specify who or what was being examined."
  • But, but, but ... Per NBC: "[O]fficials said Kushner is in a different category from former Trump aides Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, who are formally considered subjects of the investigation."
  • Why it matters: Kushner has his hands in everything. So even the best-case scenario is a distraction at the very top of the White House.

Go deeper

House warned of Russian effort to re-elect Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Trump meet at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, last June. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

The nation's top election-security official warned the House Intelligence Committee last week that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to help President Trump get re-elected, continuing to attempt to sow discord among the American electorate, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The warning raises questions about the integrity of the presidential campaign and whether Trump's administration is taking the proper steps to combat the kind of interference that the U.S. saw in 2016.

U.S. and Taliban announce first step in Afghanistan peace process

Photo: Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images

The State Department confirmed Friday morning the U.S. and Taliban have "reached an understanding" that starts a 7-day "reduction of violence" to be followed by a signed U.S.-Taliban agreement.

Why it matters: The Afghanistan war is the longest war in U.S. history. President Trump has previously pulled out of talks at the last minute, only to restart them.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 38 mins ago - World

Bloomberg's debate backfire could boost Bernie

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg got into the 2020 race to stop Bernie Sanders and socialism. If he doesn't bounce back from this week's debate, he may seal the deal for both.

Why it matters: Bloomberg’s own campaign has warned that Sanders could lock up the nomination in mere weeks, thanks to rivals spitting the opposition vote. But Bloomberg’s own spending makes it harder for other rivals to cut through — and virtually assures he sucks up significant delegates.