WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jared Kushner on Monday denied colluding with Russian officials to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and called a congressional probe into his potential involvement in the matter a “waste of our time”.
President Trump’s son-in-law, who also serves as an advisor in the Trump administration, slammed allegations of wrongdoing in a statement released Monday morning as he met with congressional investigators.
“I am voluntarily providing this statement, submitting documents, and sitting for interviews in order to shed light on issues that have been raised about my role in the Trump for President Campaign and during the transition period,” the statement reads.
“I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,” the statement continues. “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 form [security clearance], above and beyond what is required. Hopefully, this puts these matters to rest.”
In his statement Kushner also provides specific details in regard to contacts he had with Russian officials during the course of the 2016 election and post-election transition:
“With respect to my contacts with Russia or Russian representatives during the campaign, there were hardly any. The first that I can recall was at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. in April 2016. This was when then candidate Trump was delivering a major foreign policy speech. Doing the event and speech had been my idea, and I oversaw its execution,” the statement reads.
“I arrived at the hotel early to make sure all logistics were in order. After that, I stopped into the reception to thank the host of the event, Dimitri Simes, the publisher of the bi-monthly foreign policy magazine, The National Interest, who had done a great job putting everything together. Mr. Simes and his group had created the guest list and extended the invitations for the event. He introduced me to several guests, among them four ambassadors, including Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. With all the ambassadors, including Mr. Kislyak, we shook hands, exchanged brief pleasantries and I thanked them for attending the event and said I hoped they would like candidate Trump’s speech and his ideas for a fresh approach to America’s foreign policy,” the statement continues.
“The ambassadors also expressed interest in creating a positive relationship should we win the election. Each exchange lasted less than a minute; some gave me their business cards and invited me to lunch at their embassies. I never took them up on any of these invitations and that was the extent of the interactions. Reuters news service has reported that I had two calls with Ambassador Kislyak at some time between April and November of 2016. While I participated in thousands of calls during this period, I do not recall any such calls with the Russian Ambassador. We have reviewed the phone records available to us and have not been able to identify any calls to any number we know to be associated with Ambassador Kislyak and I am highly skeptical these calls took place. A comprehensive review of my land line and cell phone records from the time does not reveal those calls. I had no ongoing relationship with the Ambassador before the election, and had limited knowledge about him then.”
Kushner is being grilled on what, if any, involvement he had in regard to Russian intereferance in the 2016 election in a closed door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday. A second meeting is expected to occur on Tuesday with the House Intelligence Committee.
His appearance before the committees marks a turning point in the investigations of Russian meddling, as he is the first of the president’s closest advisers to appear before them.
You can read Jared Kushner’s full statement by clicking on the link below: