Presidential son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner told a group of interns it was impossible for the Trump administration to have colluded with Russia in attempts to sway the 2016 election because they couldn’t even communicate within their own campaign.
“They thought we colluded, but we couldn’t even collude with our local offices,” Kushner told congressional interns on Monday during an off-the-record talk at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C., Foreign Policy magazine reported.
During a Q&A session following a speech, Kushner answered interns’ questions on topics ranging from the investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia, to Kushner’s oft-revised SF-86 security clearance forms.
“We don’t know where it’s going,” he said about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion.
Kushner was asked about his failure to report more than 100 instances of foreign travel and contacts with foreign officials on his SF-86 forms, including two meetings with Russian officials. He told the interns this was simply sloppy record-keeping. “There are 127 pages on the SF-86, but there are only two you guys have to worry about,” he said. “Make sure you guys keep track of where you travel.”
The explanation may seem to hold less water than the bladder of Anthony Scaramucci’s newborn, but Foreign Policy notes, “For investigators attempting to determine whether Trump’s associates knowingly worked with Russia to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a defense claiming chaos and confusion might be the key difference between criminal behavior and incompetence.”
The interns were warned that Kushner’s speech was off the record — no Periscoping, kids! — but it’s unclear if they were told the same about the Q&A. In any case, the magazine was provided a set of notes from it.
“I’m a lot more comfortable talking to you guys today ’cause there isn’t any press,” Kushner reportedly said.