Kushner’s Statement on Russia: Here Are the Highlights

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner released a statement Monday morning to the Hill intelligence committees about his contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign and transition.

Kushner denied any collusion with the Russian government, which was engaged throughout 2016 in a campaign of its own to interfere in the election and help Trump beat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The 11-page statement from Kushner is his first public accounting of his interactions with Russians during the presidential campaign.

Here’s a look at the highlights:

  • Kushner says he had four contacts with Russians last year. The first was a handshake with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak before a Trump speech in April. The second was the highly controversial meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June. The third was a meeting with Kislyak during the transition. And the fourth was with Russian state-run banker Sergey Gorkov during the transition.
  • These four interactions were already known from previous news reports, though Kushner added new details in his statement on Monday, including information about relevant emails and logistics.
  • He says none of these interactions were about collusion or election interference, saying, “I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government.”
  • Kushner denied reading the full email forwarded to him by Donald Trump Jr. before the Trump Tower meeting. That email explained that the Russian lawyer wanted to meet with Trump campaign officials to give them information from the Kremlin that would hurt Clinton, as part of its effort to help Trump.
  • He says that he was late to the meeting and only in the room for 10 minutes while the issue of Russian adoptions was discussed. The statement says he emailed an assistant, asking that person to call his cell phone so he would have an excuse to walk out of the meeting. Kushner didn’t publicly release the email but did provide it to the House and Senate intelligence committees.
  • Kushner denied a Reuters report that said he spoke with Kislyak on the phone twice during the campaign. That report cited seven unnamed sources saying Kushner spoke with Kislyak on the phone at least twice between April and November 2016. Kushner’s lawyers denied the story when it came out in May. Kushner said in his statement that he checked some of his phone records and that his team hasn’t found “any calls to any number known to be associated with Ambassador Kislyak.”
  • The statement adds clarity on what Kushner and Kislyak discussed during their December 1 meeting. Kushner denies attempting to create a “secret back channel” between the Trump transition and the Kremlin. But he acknowledges asking Kislyak “if they had an existing communication channel at his embassy we could use where they would be comfortable transmitting” sensitive military information about Syria with the Trump transition. Kislyak couldn’t accommodate that request, so they tabled the idea, Kushner says in the statement.
  • Kushner says Kislyak also encouraged him to meet with Gorkov, and that he agreed to do it “because the ambassador has been so insistent.” During the meeting, Kushner says he broadly discussed improving US-Russia relations but did not talk about “any private business of any kind.” This explanation clashes with previous statements from the bank itself, and from a Kremlin spokesman, who said the meeting was about business and that Gorkov met with Kushner in his capacity as “the head of Kushner companies,” not as a member of the incoming administration.
  • Kushner acknowledges shaking hands with Kislyak before a Trump speech at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016. This event has attracted scrutiny from investigators on Capitol Hill, who have been trying to figure out the extent of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ interactions with Kislyak the same day. Sessions testified last month that he didn’t recall any such meeting.
  • For the first time, Kushner said he got an email one week before the election from someone he didn’t recognize called “Guccifer400.” The email threatened to release Trump’s tax returns unless Kushner paid hush money. Kushner says he ignored the email at the advice of a Secret Service agent. The US government says Russia created an online persona called Guccifer 2.0 as a front to release emails it stole during the campaign, but there is no indication that Guccifer400 was part of the Russian meddling effort.

16 comments

  • White Trash

    When the Russians (our most dangerous enemy) offer to give you information, any patriotic american would go directly to the FBI, not to a hotel room filled with Kremlin operatives. It’s that simple. Trump and his putrid band of bumbling gangsters do not care about this country and certainly don’t care about you (unless you are wealthy). The people who write on these pages are just a big pain to them and they have sold you and this country to the highest bidder.

    • ht

      Trump did say he loved the poorly educated. Trumpers love to suck up to the wealthy thinking they’ll get scraps of something thrown at them to eat. The reality of the situation is the wealthy detest them and use them. History repeats itself over and over again.

      • White Trash

        Kat– ironically, childish posts like yours only support what “HT” said. Anyone who can still support Trump at this point really has the burden of making some kind of informed argument and not just call people names.

  • magicmikexxsm

    LOL Kushner text who ever “text my phone” so he can get out of the nothing burger meeting, and the DNC puke face liberals think the Russians where colluding with Trump….
    Liberals will you ever learn?????? NOPE…

  • Lance

    Wasting time and the taxpayer’s money. We all know about the Russians. Move on!!! Lets work on the economy healthcare etc. Why waste time on this bs?

  • Waste of time!

    The Democrats are just mad that Hillary lost. We’d be in a world of crap if she got in. She didn’t care about anything but her own agendas. Suck it up Democrats! You all suck. All you care about is $$$$. At least Trump had real agendas like repealing obama care. Not to mention cutting funding to planned Parenthood. Nothing but a place to murder unborn babies…shameful!! Go Trump! Making America great again!

      • Are you for real?!

        So you would rather have Hillary Clinton in so she can take rights away like the right to bare arms or fund planned parenthood where they murder unborn babies and sell their parts. Yep that’s exactly what this country needs. Wake up HT. This country is in the crapper.and its all because of this country’s turned their backs on The Almighty God. Trump acknowledges God and our VP is a christian man. That’s what everything boils down to. No one acknowledges God anymore but they do. They are trying to do the right thing but the evil have taken over so much that anything Prez. Trump does everyone is looking to hang him on. Go Trump! Making America great again!!

    • carl

      lets see now WHO approved the RUSSIAN Laywers VISA that was EXPIERD IN 2016? AND ALLOWED HER ACCESS BACK INTO THE USA? Not Trump. Can we say DEMON-CRATS? Why DID SHE want to Meet with a TRUMP Person or Advisor? This smacks of Obama Collusion!

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