President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner released a statement ahead of his closed-door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday, stating flatly that there is no collusion on his part involving the Russians, either during the 2016 presidential election or during the transition period.
“I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,” Kushner said in the statement, released by his representatives ahead of the meeting.
“I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector,” Kushner said. “I have tried to be fully transparent with regard to the filing of my SF-86 form, above and beyond what is required.
“Hopefully, this puts these matters to rest,” Kushner said.
Kushner also said that the press had published misleading and unsubstantiated reports of his dealings with Russian officials.
“Reuters news service has reported that I had two calls with Ambassador Kislyak at some time between April and November of 2016,” Kushner said. “While I participated in thousands of calls during this period, I do not recall any such calls with the Russian Ambassador.”
“We have reviewed the phone records available to us and have not been able to identify any calls to any number we know to be associated with Ambassador Kislyak and I am highly skeptical these calls took place,” Kushner said, adding:
A comprehensive review of my land line and cell phone records from the time does not reveal those calls. I had no ongoing relationship with the Ambassador before the election, and had limited knowledge about him then. In fact, on November 9, the day after the election, I could not even remember the name of the Russian Ambassador
“Through my lawyer, I have asked Reuters to provide the dates on which the calls supposedly occurred or the phone number at which I supposedly reached, or was reached by, Ambassador Kislyak,” Kushner said. “The journalist refused to provide any corroborating evidence that they occurred.”
Kushner also said there has been “a good deal of misinformation” in the press about his security clearance filings.
“There has been a good deal of misinformation reported about my SF-86 form,” Kushner said. “As my attorneys and I have previously explained, my SF-86 application was prematurely submitted due to a miscommunication and initially did not list any contacts (not just with Russians) with foreign government officials.”
Kushner said press reports were wrong about his intentional omission of his contact with foreign government officials, specifically the Russians.
“It has been reported that my submission omitted only contacts with Russians,” Kushner said. “That is not the case.
“In the accidental early submission of the form, all foreign contacts were omitted,” Kushner said. “The supplemental information later disclosed over one hundred contacts from more than twenty countries that might be responsive to the questions on the form.”
“These included meetings with individuals such as Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Luis Videgaray Caso and many more,” Kushner stated. “All of these had been left off before.
Kushner also made it clear that he did not discuss anything of substance in his brief meetings with Russian officials, including sanctions imposed by the Obama administration or his own business dealings.
Meanwhile, the media are reporting on Kushner’s statement as an important part of the investigation about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“Even before the latest revelations, staff for congressional committees investigating Russian election meddling and ties between Trump’s team and the Russians have expressed an interest in talking with Kushner, who was deeply involved in the campaign and the transition,” Bloomberg reported.
“Kushner’s interview with committee staff is voluntary, will take place out of the public eye and will not be under oath. It nevertheless may serve as a building block for the ongoing Russia investigations by Special Counsel Bob Mueller as well as House and Senate committees,” according to Bloomberg.
The Washington Post, which reported that it “obtained” a copy of Kushner’s statement that was distributed to the press, continues to push the collusion scenario.
“U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the Russian government orchestrated a far-reaching campaign to meddle with last year’s presidential campaign and influence the outcome in Trump’s favor,” the Post reported.
Kushner is also scheduled to meet with the House Intelligence Committee this week.