Washington, United States | AFP | Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner flatly denied on Monday there had been any collusion between Russia and members of his father-in-law Donald Trump’s campaign for president.
The following are key quotes and dates from Kushner’s statement submitted to the US House and Senate intelligence committees probing Russia’s suspected interference in the 2016 election:
– April 2016 –
Kushner said in his statement he met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a reception prior to a foreign policy speech by Trump at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.
He shook hands with Kislyak and three other ambassadors and “exchanged brief pleasantries,” Kushner said.
“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.”
– June 9, 2016 –
Kushner, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr — the president’s eldest son — met with a Russian government attorney who an intermediary claimed had incriminating information about Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton.
The subject line of the email from Donald Jr inviting Kushner and Manafort to the meeting read “Russia – Clinton – private and confidential.”
In his statement, Kushner said “that email was on top of a long back and forth that I did not read at the time.”
He said he arrived late and “when I got there, the person who has since been identified as a Russian attorney was talking about the issue of a ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children.”
“I had no idea why that topic was being raised and quickly determined that my time was not well-spent,” Kushner said, adding that he emailed an assistant to get him out of the meeting.
“No part of the meeting I attended included anything about the campaign, there was no follow up to the meeting that I am aware of, I do not recall how many people were there (or their names), and I have no knowledge of any documents being offered or accepted.”
– December 1, 2016 –
Kushner said he and retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn — who briefly served as Trump’s national security adviser — met with Russian ambassador Kislyak for 20 to 30 minutes at Trump Tower.
Kushner said he asked the ambassador to identify the best person in touch with Russian leader Vladimir Putin “with whom to have direct discussions.”
“The fact that I was asking about ways to start a dialogue after Election Day should of course be viewed as strong evidence that I was not aware of one that existed before Election Day,” Kushner said.
Kushner said the ambassador told him and Flynn he had information about the situation in Syria to convey from Russian generals. Since there was no secure line to the transition office, Kushner said he asked the diplomat whether “they had an existing communications channel at his embassy we could use.”
“The Ambassador said that would not be possible and so we all agreed that we would receive this information after the Inauguration,” Kushner said.
“Nothing else occurred. I did not suggest a ‘secret back channel.’ I did not suggest an on-going secret form of communication for then or for when the administration took office,” he said.
“I did not raise the possibility of using the embassy or any other Russian facility for any purpose other than this one possible conversation in the transition period.”
– December 13, 2016 –
Kushner said that after declining several requests to meet with the ambassador again he agreed to meet with a Russian banker named Sergey Gorkov, described as “someone with a direct line to the Russian President.”
Kushner said the meeting lasted 20 to 25 minutes and Gorkov gave him two gifts — a piece of art and a bag of dirt from Nvgorod, the village where Kushner’s grandparents came from in Belarus.
“After that, he told me a little about his bank and made some statements about the Russian economy,” Kushner said. “He said that he was friendly with President Putin, expressed disappointment with U.S.-Russia relations under President Obama and hopes for a better relationship in the future.”
Kushner said no specific policies were discussed and the issue of sanctions imposed on Russia was not raised.
– July 24, 2017 –
“I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,” Kushner said in a statement released prior to his testimonial before the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector.”