Early Monday morning Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, publicly released an 11-page written statement giving a first-person account of his contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign and White House transition period.
The statement is released just as the probe into ties between the Trump administration and Russia led by special counsel Robert Mueller intensifies.
Apparently, the statement includes prepared remarks Kushner will make when the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence privately questions him about Russia’s U.S. presidential election interference.
Other top Trump campaign aides, former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr., are expected to speak to the Senate’s intelligence committee as well but have yet to release public statements accounting for their interactions with Russians in 2016.
“These were not contacts that I initiated,” Kushner wrote. When referring to the transition period: “Two of those meetings were with Russians, neither of which I solicited.”
In his statement, Kushner addresses and defends “possible” interactions he had with Russian individuals in 2016, but brushes them under the rug as part of his role as “a point of contact with these foreign countries.”
Kushner also details his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and an unnamed Russian female attorney — the meeting supposedly set-up by Donald Trump Jr — during the campaign as brief and inconsequential.
The president’s 36-year-old son-in-law also acknowledges two other meetings held with Russians, one again with Kislyak and another with Putin ally and Russian banker, Sergey Gorkov. According to Kushner neither of these meetings were fruitful, as he could not “even recall the Russian Ambassador’s name.”
“I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government. I had no improper contacts,” Kushner claims.
The baseline of Kushner’s statement directly responds to the ongoing federal investigation that seeks to uncover any crimes that may have been committed during the Trump campaign and transition.
The claims Kushner made in his statement will be corroborated with the information he shares with the Senate intelligence committee Monday.
Following his meeting with members of the Senate panel, Kushner addressed the media outside the White House saying he will meet with the House intelligence committee on Tuesday.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated.
[CNN] [Washington Post] [The Guardian] [PBS NewsHour/YouTube]