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Did Trump’s Campaign Have A Jewish Backchannel To Putin?

The list of Trump advisers and confidants who had met with Russian officials before the elections and during the transition is growing — and it’s getting more Jewish.

Jason Greenblatt, who was Trump’s adviser on Israel and the Jewish community during the campaign and is now his special representative for international negotiations, was also involved in meetings with Russian figures, according to the New York Times

Greenblatt’s counterpart, according to the report, was Rabbi Berel Lazar, Russia’s chief rabbi who is considered an ally of Vladimir Putin.

Lazar, a staunch defender of Putin who urged Russian Jews to avoid criticizing their president, met with Greenblatt during the campaign. The meeting was arranged by public relations executive Joshua Nass.

Greenblatt acknowledged the meeting took place and said it was part of several he held with prominent Chabad rabbis. Greenblatt described the meeting as “probably less than useful” and claimed that it did not focus on U.S.-Russia relations. Lazar, who meets with Putin a couple of times a year, told the Times he did not discuss his conversation with Greenblatt in those meetings.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman

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Did Trump’s Campaign Have A Jewish Backchannel To Putin?

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