UPDATE with Kushner statement post-meeting: Jared Kushner stood on the White House drive and recited the talking points of the statement he had released in advance of today’s meeting with Senate Intel Committee staffers, insisting he did not collude with Russia in the election, has not “relied” on Russian I have not relied on Russian funds for his business, has been “fully transparent.”
With the White House as his backdrop, Kushner said his dad-in-law won the election with a “better message” and a “smarter campaign” and anyone suggesting otherwise “ridicules those who voted for him.”
“My name is Jared Kushner. I am senior adviser to President Donald J. Trump,” he began, modestly. When his father-in-law decided to run for President, he served in that campaign “as best I could because I believed in him,” Kushner said, calling it “the honor and privilege of my lifetime,” and taking no questions after his prepared remarks.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to work on important matters,” Kushener said.
“I have not sought the spotlight… I always focused on setting and achieving goals and left it to others to work on media and public perception.”
He insisted he has been “consistently eager to share any information” with investigating bodies, as he insisted he did at this morning’s carefully brokered meeting with Senate Intel Committee staffers. He was not under oath during the meeting.
All of Kushner’s actions were “proper and occurred in proper course of a very unique campaign,” he said.
As he said in his statement unveiled early this morning before taking the meeting, Kushner insisted “I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else who did so. I had no improper contact. I have not relied on Russian funds for my business.”
“Donald Trump had a better message and ran a smarter campaign and that is why he won. Suggesting otherwise ridicules those who voted for him.”
Previous: In advance of meetings this week with various government committees delving into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, starting with this morning’s carefully brokered closed-and-not-under-oath meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, Donald Trump’s son-in-law/Secretary Of Everything Jared Kushner unleashed 11 pages worth of statement best described this morning by MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt as the Chaos and Sloppiness Defense.
Taking a page from sacked FBI Director James Comey, who’d released his script in advance of his under-oath, televised testimony before the Senate Intel Committee in June, Kushner released his 11-page doc in advance of this morning’s carefully brokered closed-and-not-under-oath meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee staffers,
Acknowledging she was still “trying to wrap my head around this entire statement” as it was unveiled in real time during Morning Joe, Hunt said, “Essentially Jared Kushner is explaining away point by point, all of the concerning things and offering his version of events that essentially make things that may seem to be problematic, simply the result of someone overlooking something.”
“I would say this is essentially the chaos and sloppiness defense,” she described.
Taking a page from James Comey
“I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,” Kushner insists in his statement. “I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector.
“I have tried to be fully transparent with regard to the filing of my SF-86 [security clearance] form, above and beyond what is required,” he said, un-ironically.
Among Kushner’s claims, he says he was not aware of the participants or the subject of the Trump Tower meeting he attended during the election that now is the subject of much scrutiny. Donald Trump Jr. had forwarded Kushner the email chain at which Don Jr. had been told a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer would provide him with intel damaging to Hillary Clinton, as a show of Russian government support for Dad’s campaign. Kushner explains the invite to attend “was on top of a long [email] back and forth that I did not read at the time.” He said he has documents that confirm his memory “that this was calendared as ‘Meeting: Don Jr.| Jared Kushner.’ No one else was mentioned.”
In his 11 pages, Kushner says he left the meeting early after “looking for a polite way to leave and get back to my work.”
“I actually emailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for ten or so minutes and wrote ‘Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting.'”
He added, “I had not met the attorney before the meeting nor spoken with her since. I thought nothing more of this short meeting until it came to my attention recently.”