Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) on Tuesday praised White House adviser and the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner for being “straightforward” and “forthcoming” during an interview with lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the presidential elections.
“We just finished [an] almost little bit better than three-hour interview with Mr. Kushner. Found him to be straightforward, forthcoming, wanted to answer every question that we had and was willing to follow up on any questions that we think of later that we didn’t get asked this morning,” Conaway said to reporters who were staked out outside of the meeting room doors.
“I thank him for the way he conducted himself in a very professional manner,” he added.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the intelligence committee’s ranking member, did not praise Kushner, but said he appreciated his “voluntary willingness” to come and testify.
“We had a good opportunity to ask Mr. Kushner questions this morning. He expressed and his counsel receptivity to coming back for further questions, but it was a very productive session, we had an opportunity to ask about a range of issues that the committee’s been concerned about, and we appreciate his voluntary willingness to come and testify today,” Schiff said.
Schiff has spent 14 hours, eight minutes and 55 seconds on air since Trump’s inauguration, a recent White House tracking report found, many of them spent discussing the Russia investigation and allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
As Kushner exited the room, he touched Conaway on the shoulder and said, “Thank you guys,” and touched Schiff on the shoulder, and said, “Thank you very much.”
Kushner testified Monday in Congress, to the Senate intelligence committee, in a closed session for more than two hours, releasing his testimony beforehand. He also spoke outside the White House afterwards.
Critics have accused him of everything from lying on his form to get a security clearance, depending on Russian financing, and trying to set up a secret diplomatic channel with Russia through its embassy. Kushner has addressed these allegations in his public remarks.
“Since the first questions were raised in March, I have been consistent in saying that I was eager to share any information I have with the investigating bodies, and I have done so today,” Kushner said Monday afternoon outside of the White House.
“The record and documents I have voluntarily provided will show that all of my actions were proper, and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaign.
“Let me be very clear, I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. 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.
“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.”