White House senior adviser Jared Kushner denied colluding with Russia Monday afternoon, saying in a rare public statement that his father-in-law Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election because he “had a better message and ran a smarter campaign.”
Kushner spoke outside the White House after testifying for about two hours at a closed Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, after earlier having denied accusations of Russian conclusions in a statement Monday morning ahead of his testimony.
Responding to reports of his alleged dealing with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Kushner had said he was “highly skeptical” such calls with Kislyak took place. In the 11-page statement, he firmly denied any collusion with Russia and made similar remarks in his statement at the White House.
“Let me be clear, I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone in the campaign who did so,” Kushner said. “I had no improper contacts, I have not relied on Russian funds for my businesses, and I have been fully transparent in providing all requested information.”
In the short statement, he said that serving President Trump and the American people “has been the privilege of a lifetime.”
He also took a swipe at Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, who have suggested that Trump won in part due to Russian interference in the election.
“Donald Trump had a better message and ran a smarter campaign, and that is why he won. Suggesting otherwise ridicules those who voted for him,” he said.
Kushner will appear Tuesday to testify at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on the same topic.
Kushner has been in the spotlight partly over his participation in a meeting in June 2016 that also featured Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer allegedly linked to the Kremlin. Trump Jr. says he took the meeting in the belief that it would provide opposition research about Hillary Clinton — although this turned out not to be the case.
Some media outlets also focused on the fact that Kushner’s filings for security clearance required updating to include the number of contacts he had with officials of foreign governments.
In his statement early Monday, he said that his assistant accidentally filed the questionnaire while it was still being prepared. He eventually disclosed more than 100 contacts with officials from over 20 countries.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY