For more than two hours, in a room surrounded by cameras and before investigators of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the 36-year-old Jared Kushner denied any collusion during the campaign with the Russians who, according to Washington intelligence officials, launched a coordinated attack against the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
“All my actions were appropriate, in the normal course of an unparalleled campaign,” said Kushner on his return to the White House in a very rare public statement. “I did not collude with Russia, and I do not know anyone on the campaign team who did. I did not have any inappropriate contact,” he said. He had previously issued an eleven-page written statement to the Congress, where he will again visit Tuesday, this time before the House Intelligence Committee.
He slipped away from the meeting with Russian lawyer
Congressional officials have wanted to question Kushner for some time. His name has surfaced on several occasions, notably because of meetings with several Russian officials before and after the election.
Jared Kushner confirms that he met with the Russian ambassador to the United States twice and a major banker close to Vladimir Putin, Sergei Gorkov, at his request.
He also remembers having participated for a few minutes in a meeting with a Russian lawyer organized by his brother-in-law, Donald Trump Jr., in June 2016. But he swears that after ten minutes he asked his assistant for him provide an excuse to slip away.
These four meetings in total were dispersed between thousands of appointments, phone calls and messages exchanged in a frantic period. He said that his father-in-law had asked him to be the contact point of the campaign for foreign governments and that he had more than 100 contacts with officials from more than 20 countries before and after the election. And never, according to Kushner, was the issue of US sanctions against Moscow raised.
The financial track
“I did not have any inappropriate contacts. I was not dependent on Russian funds to finance my business in the private sector,” said Kushner. A phrase “obviously elaborated by a malicious lawyer trying to protect his client,” said Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, who says that Jared Kushner plays with words and did not say everything about his financial ties with people and entities related to Russia.
With Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband, Congress is not only approaching the inner circle of the American leader but also his family. The eldest son of the billionaire, Donald Jr., is currently negotiating with Congress to give his version of the facts. For now, he has managed to avoid a public hearing.