TEL AVIV — Amid reports that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner allegedly talked with Russia’s envoy to the U.S. about setting up a back channel for communications, it may be instructive to recall that representatives for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign reportedly established a back channel with Iran.
The Washington Post, which broke the story about Kushner, cited communications from Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak to Moscow allegedly intercepted by U.S. intelligence officials. Russian diplomats are known to deliberately place misinformation in communications they believe are being monitored, the Post noted, allowing for the possibility that Kushner never actually asked for a back channel.
ABC News quoted two sources as saying the purported back channel that Kushner and Kislyak were allegedly discussing was supposed to focus on policy issues, including the war in Syria where Russia is highly influential.
In August 2014, Michael Ledeen, a former consultant to the National Security Council and U.S. Defense Department, penned a column at PJ Media stating Obama opened a back-channel to Iran during the 2008 presidential campaign. Ledeen said the back channel went through retired Ambassador William G. Miller, who also led the 1979 negotiating mission during the Iran hostage crisis. Ladeen wrote that Miller confirmed his back-channel involvement to him.
Ledeen wrote: (emphasis added by this reporter)
The actual strategy is detente first, and then a full alliance with Iran throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It has been on display since before the beginning of the Obama administration. During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies. The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the shah’s rule, as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.