NEW YORK CITY — Jared Kushner delivered a brief statement to assembled press outside the White House on Monday, insisting that he did not “collude with Russia” or have “improper contacts” with Russians.
The White House senior adviser spoke after a meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier in the morning.
Kushner, who is President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, also said that discussing whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia “ridicules” those who voted for Trump last fall.
“I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so,” Kushner said. “I’ve had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds for my businesses.”
The adviser said he’s been consistent “since the first questions were raised in March” in saying that he was “eager” to share any information he had related to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“And I have done so today,” he said, adding that “all of my actions were proper.”
“Donald Trump had a better message and ran a stronger campaign and that’s why he won,” Kushner said.
Kushner released an 11-page statement early Monday ahead of his meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee and insisted he did not “collude” with “any foreign government.”
The Wall Street Journal noted that one of the newly detailed meetings in Kushner’s statement was previously undisclosed. That was a meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, whom Kushner said he spoke with at an April 2016 event. Kushner said the meeting took place in a group setting and not in private.
Kushner would later meet with Kislyak alongside former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn at Trump Tower in December 2016, just before Trump took office.
Kushner has come under fire this month after reports surfaced of a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that included himself, then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr., and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump Jr. set up the meeting on the pretense that Veselnitskaya would provide information from the Russian government that was damaging to soon-to-be Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, but that information reportedly never materialised in the course of the 20-to-30 minute meeting.
Kushner is the only current White House staffer who was present for that meeting. Democrats and Republicans have subsequently questioned why Kushner, who has had to revise his security clearance on three occassions, adding more than 100 previously undisclosed foreign contacts, still has a clearance.