A key figure in the Russia investigation will soon be departing the US for Moscow, and it's a figure whose ties to the Kremlin were already known: Sources tell BuzzFeed that Russia is recalling Sergey Kislyak, who has been his country's ambassador to the US for 10 years. The sources say contrary to reports that Kislyak is in line for a senior United Nations role, Moscow has decided to bring the 66-year-old home after a July 11 going-away party. After a period that has seen the ambassador dubbed "the most radioactive man in Washington" because of the uproar surrounding his off-the-record meetings with assorted politicians, "he could use some time away," one diplomatic source says.
Contacts with Kislyak have caused problems for more than one member of the Trump administration, New York notes: It was a conversation with the ambassador that led to former national security adviser Michael Flynn's resignation, and Kislyak's meetings with Jeff Sessions and Jared Kushner have also drawn scrutiny. President Trump leaked classified information during a May meeting with Kislyak and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The Kremlin is planning to send deputy foreign minister Anatoly Antonov to replace Kislyak, according to reports in the Russian media. (Kushner allegedly discussed setting up a secret communications line with the ambassador.)