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Putin Rival Ties Kushner Meeting to Kremlin Bankers

The pointed remarks come from Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has been exiled by the Kremlin

A prominent exiled Russian oligarch said in an exclusive interview with NBC News that he is nearly certain Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to collaborate with the Trump campaign, and that he believes a top Russian banker was not "acting on his own behalf" when he held a controversial meeting with Jared Kushner last December.

The pointed remarks come from a longtime Putin rival, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an oil executive who was Russia's richest man before he was imprisoned and exiled by the Kremlin.

"I am almost convinced that Putin's people have tried to influence the U.S. election in some way," Khodorkovsky told MSNBC’s Ari Melber in his first U.S. television interview since Trump took office.

Khodorkovsky says he believes the likelihood that Putin "personally" tried to cooperate with the Trump campaign to affect the election is a "9 out of 10."

During a hearing Tuesday, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) got into a bit of a testy exchange with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly over the appropriateness of Jared Kushner allegedly trying to set up a back channel of communications between the U.S. and Russia.
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