Full transparency? At the very least, Jared Kushner gave reporters something unusual — an on-camera statement, albeit with no follow-up questions. Trump’s son-in-law insists that he “did not collude with Russia,” nor did he ever use Russian funding for his businesses. Kushner insists that he will “look forward” to answering more questions from a House committee tomorrow, which seems … doubtful:
Jared Kushner: "I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so" https://t.co/UvMxn5zEYx
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 24, 2017
“Donald Trump had a better message and ran a smarter campaign,” Kushner declared in the rare media availability after his Senate testimony, “and that is why he won.” Suggesting that Russian interference determined the outcome of the election “ridicules those who voted for him,” Kushner argued. None of his contacts with Russians during the campaign were “improper,” Kushner also insisted after discussing four such incidents with a Senate committee in closed session earlier. The meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, which got pitched to Donald Trump Jr as part of the Russian government’s effort to assist Trump in the campaign, was among the four under discussion.
How did today’s Q&A in closed session go for Kushner? All we have is his reaction to it, but the Washington Post notes that it lasted two hours. Figuring in all of the preliminaries that might have taken place, that leaves room for just under nine minutes per panel member for questioning, and perhaps even less than that. Until people start leaking, it will be tough to know just how Kushner did, but it doesn’t appear that the committee found enough to keep them from extending the meeting — although that was probably negotiated with the White House, too.
Kushner gets to do it all over again tomorrow, but probably won’t make time for a separate statement afterward. He’ll go back to his comfort zone out of the spotlight. If Don Jr’s smart, he’ll take notes and do the same.