White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told a group of interns
that President Donald Trump’s campaign team couldn’t have
colluded with Russia because they “couldn’t even collude with our
The comments were revealed to
Foreign Policy by a source present for the private,
off-the-record discussion before a group of congressional interns
in Washington, DC on Monday.
“They thought we colluded, but we couldn’t even collude with our
local offices,” Kushner told the group.
Kushner, who is also Trump’s son-in-law, additionally told the
interns that the administration doesn’t “know where” special
counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump
team colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election is
The top aide to Trump mentioned his failure to report more than
100 contacts on his security clearance form, which has since been
updated multiple times, telling the interns that “there are only
two” pages on the form “you guys have to worry about.”
“Make sure you guys keep track of where you travel,” he said.
The interns were under strict warning not to leak the comments to
the media, and Kushner said he was “a lot more comfortable
talking to you guys today ’cause there isn’t any press.”
Just ahead of Kushner’s talk, Katie Patru, a top congressional
staffer, told the assembled interns, “To record today’s session
would be such a breach of trust, from my opinion,” Wired reported.
“This town is full of leakers and everyone knows who they are,
and no one trusts them,” she continued. “In this business your
reputation is everything, I’ve been on the hill for 15 years.
I’ve sat in countless meetings with members of Congress where
important decisions were being made. During all those years in
all those meetings, I never once leaked to a reporter. …. If
someone in your office has asked you to break our protocol and
give you a recording so they can leak it, as a manager, that
bothers me at my core.”
Wired obtained a recording of Kushner’s discussion, which the
publication said lasted for roughly one hour. The recording
contained comments Kushner made about some of the
administration’s objectives for the Middle East, which Kushner
holds vast influence over.
Speaking specifically about recent tensions between Israelis and
Palestinians, Kushner asked “what do we offer that’s unique” in
finding an agreement between the two groups.
“So, what do we offer that’s unique? I don’t know… I’m sure
everyone that’s tried this has been unique in some ways, but
again we’re trying to follow very logically,” Kushner said.
“We’re thinking about what the right end state is. And we’re
trying to work with the parties very quietly to see if there’s a
solution. And there may be no solution, but it’s one of the
problem sets that the president asked us to focus on. So we’re
going to focus on it and try to come to the right conclusion in
the near future.”
Listen to Wired’s audio:
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