Jared Kushner used the Mueller report to deflect an unrelated question, and it could hint at a new Trump strategy to shut down scrutiny

screen grabJared Kushner being interviewed on Fox News over his White House security clearance.
  • In an interview with the Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Monday, Jared Kushner was asked about claims that he got a White House security clearance despite official objections.
  • The president’s son-in-law and adviser shrugged off the question, comparing the claim to the allegation of Russian collusion investigated by the special counsel Robert Mueller.
  • Kushner said questions over his security clearance were from the same school of “crazy accusations” as unproven claims of collusion – then he moved on.
  • The moment, along with similar moves by other allies of President Donald Trump, shows how citing the Mueller investigation might become a strategy to paint any scrutiny as overblown and hysterical.

In an interview broadcast Monday night, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, shrugged off questions over his White House security clearance, granting a glimpse of a political playbook that could loom large in the months to come.

Speaking with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, Kushner used the central finding of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report – which the Justice Department has said did not find evidence of illegal collusion with Russia – to avoid answering about something unrelated.

Here is the exchange, with the relevant segment highlighted:

Ingraham: The left is going crazy about the security-clearance issue. And a whistleblower from the White House has now given a private interview on Capitol Hill with Democrats, and she says that 25 individuals were able to leapfrog over the career people’s concerns about security clearances, and they received security clearances, in her view, improperly. What’s your reaction for that?

Kushner: Well, I can’t comment for the White House’s process, but what I can say is that over the last few years that I’ve been here, I’ve been accused of all different types of things, and all of those things have turned out to be false.

We’ve had a lot of crazy accusations, like, that we colluded with Russia. I complied with all the different investigations, whether it be the Senate, the House, the special counsel. I’ve sat for nearly 20 hours of interviews with them.

By grouping the claims together, Kushner implied that the concerns voiced to Congress by a White House whistleblower about his security clearance would be similarly resolved.

Kushner is not the first to name-drop Mueller’s report to discredit unrelated investigations into the Trump administration.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a recent message to supporters on Facebook, used Mueller to solicit funds for reelection, posting an image of Democratic leaders with the text “these investigations will never end” superimposed on them.

The president’s son Donald Trump Jr. on Sunday cited the report to attack the media as a “blight on our republic.”

Trump in a tweet last week complained that “no matter what the Radical Left Democrats get, no matter what we give them, it will never be enough,” continuing: “Just watch, they will Harass & Complain & Resist (the theme of their movement). So maybe we should just take our victory and say NO, we’ve got a Country to run!”

Democrats are demanding more of Mueller’s report than the summary provided to Congress by Attorney General William Barr, which Trump and his allies have inaccurately described as a “total exoneration.”

The House Judiciary Committee’s chairman, Jerry Nadler, a Democrat, said on Monday that his panel planned to issue subpoenas to acquire the full 400-page Mueller report.

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