Jared Kushner denies Russia collusion in letter to Congress

Jared Kushner issues statement before congressional testimony
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Early Monday, Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, released an 11-page statement to the House and Senate intelligence committees detailing what he described as "perhaps four contacts with Russian representatives out of thousands during the campaign and transition," insisting that he "did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government." Kushner is meeting behind closed doors with staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday and speaking privately with members of the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday about his role in Trump's campaign and its ties to Russia.

Kushner dismissed all four meetings, all of them previously reported in the media — two with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; one with the head of a Russian state bank, Sergey Gorkov; and the June 2016 meeting he said Donald Trump Jr. had invited him to with a Kremlin-linked lawyer — saying that none of them "were impactful in any way to the election or particularly memorable." In a new bit of information, Kushner said he found a way to get out of the Don Jr. meeting with the Russian lawyer, writing: "In looking for a polite way to leave and get back to my work, I actually emailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for ten or so minutes and wrote 'Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting.'"

Kushner said he had filed an incomplete security-clearance application prematurely by mistake, blaming an assistant. "I had no improper contacts," he concluded. "I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector. 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."

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.