President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner accepted a U.S.-Russia reconciliation plan from a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and handed it to then-incoming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, according to the report by special counsel Robert Mueller that was released on Thursday.
The much-anticipated report, which is 448 pages in length, provides the details of the special counsel’s nearly two-year investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The report noted that the investigation found “numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.” However, it did not establish that members of the campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government when it attempted to sway the election in favor of Trump.
Nevertheless, new details have emerged from the report about Russian efforts to sway the foreign policy of the incoming Trump administration in favor of Russia. Over the past year of the investigation, questions have been raised about why Trump ally Erik Prince met with the CEO of a Russian sovereign wealth fund Kirill Dmitriev in the Seychelles in January 2017.
The Mueller report reveals that Dmitriev was one of the main Russian businessmen attempting to make contact with the incoming Trump campaign on behalf of the Russian government. What’s more, he succeeded in having an allegedly Putin-approved reconciliation plan handed to key members of the incoming Trump administration.
“Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive officer of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, was among the Russians who tried to make contact with the incoming administration. In early December, a business associate steered Dmitriev to Erik Prince, a supporter of the Trump Campaign and an associate of senior Trump advisor Steve Bannon. Dmitriev and Prince later met face-to-face in January 2017 in the Seychelles and discussed U.S.-Russia relations. During the same period, another business associate introduced Dmitriev to a friend of Jared Kushner who had not served on the Campaign or the Transition Team,” the report reads.
“Dmitriev and Kushner's friend collaborated on a short written reconciliation plan for the United States and Russia, which Dmitriev implied had been cleared through Putin. The friend gave that proposal to Kushner before the inauguration, and Kushner later gave copies to Bannon and incoming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,” the report continues.
It is unclear what happened to the plan after it reached Tillerson. The friend of Kushner’s mentioned in the report is New York hedge fund manager Richard Gerson, who was also in the Seychelles around the time Prince met with Dmitriev.
The report also notes that Dmitriev made these inroads with Trump’s inner circle by contacting George Nader, the business partner of Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy.
“Dmitriev asked a close business associate who worked for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) royal court, George Nader, to introduce him to Trump transition officials, and Nader eventually arranged a meeting in the Seychelles between Dmitriev and Erik Prince, a Trump Campaign supporter and an associate of Steve Bannon,” the report reads. “Nader developed contacts with both U.S. presidential campaigns during the 2016 election, and kept Dmitriev abreast of his efforts to do so.”
Nader considered Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a trusted ally of the Trump team despite the fact that he was not officially part of the campaign. During Trump's presidential run, Prince regularly met with Bannon and other campaign associates in Trump Tower.
Dmitriev, meanwhile, is an oligarch who meets regularly with Putin and allegedly calls the Russian President “boss.”