White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday that she was not aware if President Donald Trump holds his son-in-law Jared Kushner responsible for hiring Paul Manafort, who surrendered on Monday after Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted Manafort on 12 charges ranging from making false statements to conspiracy against the United States. Manafort pleaded not guilty to the charges at his arraignment.
At the White House press briefing, NBC News reporter Kristen Welker asked Huckabee Sanders, “Does the president, in any way, hold Jared Kushner responsible for hiring Paul Manafort? Welker pointed out that Kushner was “an early supporter of bringing him on board.”
“Not that I’m aware of,” Huckabee Sanders replied.
The New York Times reported that Kushner, along with Ivanka Trump, pushed Trump to hire Manafort after Manafort initially reached out to Tom Barrack, a longtime friend of the family.
Among the biggest internal advocates for Paul Manafort taking over the Trump campaign: Don Jr., Ivanka, Jared Kushner and Tom Barrack.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) October 30, 2017
Trump needed to bring on someone like Manafort to run his campaign after Ivanka Trump reportedly gave her father an ultimatum to fire former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
I'm told the person who convinced Trump to fire Corey is Ivanka – who met with her dad and said get rid of him or she can no longer help
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) June 20, 2016
Kushner may also have set in motion the events that led to today’s indictments when the near-sighted and inexperienced son-in-law/adviser reportedly convinced Trump to fire then-FBI Director Jamey Comey, which led to Mueller’s appointment.