Speed Reads

blame it on the chaos

Morning Joe panelist deems Jared Kushner's statement denying collusion 'the chaos and sloppiness defense'

On Monday, a panel on Morning Joe raced to react to President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner's recently released 11-page statement denying Russian collusion. In his statement to the House and Senate intelligence committees, Kushner maintained that nothing "improper" happened during his four meetings with Russians during the presidential campaign.

NBC News' Kasie Hunt interpreted Kushner's lines as "the chaos and sloppiness defense." "Essentially Jared Kushner is explaining away, point by point, all of the concerning things and offering his version of events that essentially make things that may seem to be problematic, simply the result of somebody overlooking something, of the chaos of the campaign," Hunt said, referring to Kushner's claim that he did not fully read the email inviting him to a meeting at Trump Tower with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer who claimed to have compromising information on Hillary Clinton. He also claimed he asked his assistant to call him about 10 minutes into the meeting as an "excuse to get out."

"This is to a certain extent, I think, the opening that Republicans who want find a reason to defend the president are looking to give them," Hunt said. "They're essentially saying, 'Look, there couldn't be any collusion here because nobody was in any position to collude. Everybody was drinking out of a fire hose.'"

Watch the panel's discussion below. Becca Stanek