WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the Russia investigations (all times local):
The son-in-law of President Donald Trump is blaming his assistant for filing a version of his security clearance questionnaire that left off any contacts with foreign governments.
Jared Kushner says the assistant accidentally filed the questionnaire while it was still being prepared. He says the initial form left off all foreign contacts, not just ones with Russians. Kushner says he eventually disclosed more than 100 contacts with people from more than 20 countries. Kushner says that list includes the King of Jordan, the prime minister of Israel and a high-ranking Mexican government official.
Kushner is disclosing the information about his foreign contacts just hours before he speaks behind closed doors with a Senate committee investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and any possible collusion with Trump associates.
The son-in-law of President Donald Trump says a June 2016 meeting with a Russian-American lawyer was such a “waste of time” that he asked his assistant to call him out of the gathering.
That’s according to a statement Jared Kushner is providing to congressional committees this week.
Emails released this month show Donald Trump Jr. accepted the meeting at Trump Tower with the idea that he would receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton. But Kushner says he hadn’t seen those emails until recently shown them by his lawyers.
Kushner says in his statement that Trump Jr. invited him to the meeting. He says he arrived late and heard the lawyer discussing the issue of adoptions. He says he texted his assistant to call him out of the meeting.
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law says that he only had four contacts with Russians during the campaign and presidential transition and that none of them were improper.
Jared Kusher also says he never colluded with any foreign government during the presidential campaign. He also is denying that Russians finance any of his business in the private sector.
Kushner is disclosing the information in an 11-page statement provided to The Associated Press. The release of the statement comes just hours before he is to be interviewed by a Senate committee investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and any possible collusion by Trump associates.
The interview with the Senate intelligence committee is behind closed doors.
Congressional investigators probing Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election will have their first opportunity this week to hear from someone in President Donald Trump’s innermost circle: son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Kushner, who is a senior adviser to the president and is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, will talk to staff on the Senate Intelligence Committee Monday behind closed doors. On Tuesday, he’ll talk privately to members of the House Intelligence Committee.
Both panels are investigating Russian interference and possible connections to Trump’s campaign. Kushner has attracted attention for a December meeting with a leading Russian diplomat. He oversaw digital strategy for the campaign, and some lawmakers have said they want more answers about whether Russian social media “trolls” were connected to Trump’s election efforts.