Breaking News Emails
The Russian banker who met with President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a month before the inauguration refused Friday to say what they discussed and whether he's been contacted by the FBI.
"Sorry, sorry," Sergey Gorkov said when pressed by NBC News at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Gorkov, chairman of the state-owned VneshEconomBank, exited the event amid a scrum of people as correspondent Keir Simmons repeatedly asked him to clarify the circumstances of the December meeting. As Simmons tried to walk alongside Gorkov, the correspondent said, "please don't push me out the way." It wasn't immediately clear who pushed Simmons.
"I explained all comments before," Gorkov then said.
Gorkov, a longtime economic aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has said in a written statement to Reuters that his encounter with Kushner, a Trump adviser, was a business meeting. According to Reuters, Gorkov met "with a number of representatives of the largest banks and business establishments of the U.S., including Jared Kushner, the head of Kushner Companies."
The White House has characterized the meeting as part of Kushner's role as a transition adviser and conduit for the State Department.
But neither VEB nor the White House have disclosed the location, exact date, or what the two men talked about.
The meeting has drawn interest from congressional aides, who have said they want to ask Kushner about it.
Kushner's connections to Russia have come under scrutiny by the FBI, which is investigating whether Trump associates coordinated with the Russian campaign to interfere in the election, multiple U.S. officials have told NBC News.
The Washington Post reported last week that Kushner allegedly proposed setting up a secret "communications channel" between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin.
The FBI and Congress are also examining a campaign event last spring during which Trump, Kushner and Jeff Sessions ─ who was then a U.S. senator and campaign adviser, and is now the U.S. attorney general ─ attended a small gathering with several diplomats, including Russia's ambassador to the United States, multiple U.S. officials have told NBC News.
Investigators believe Kushner has significant information relevant to their inquiry, officials said. That does not mean they suspect him of a crime or intend to charge him.