Kushner will testify (not under oath, per his request) before a closed session of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday. In advance of that testimony he released a prepared statement to make it absolutely clear that he did not collude with Russia; that, if he did collude with Russia, it was only because he is inexperienced and super-overworked and the Trump campaign was a mess that was never properly staffed; and that he is an innocent creature at heart, like a (very tall) baby.
“I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,” Kushner writes in the 11-page statement. He goes on to blame his assistant for failing to disclose several meetings with Russian officials, claiming it was an honest mistake. Also, he can’t remember basic details of the meeting he had with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel. “I had no ongoing relationship with the Ambassador before the election, and had limited knowledge about him then,” he writes of Kislyak. “In fact, on November 9, the day after the election, I could not even remember the name of the Russian Ambassador.”
Perhaps most gallingly, Kushner also claims, “I am not a person who has sought the spotlight,” explaining that he is only serving in the administration because his father-in-law asked him to. Kushner, of course, is married to Ivanka Trump, an arrangement that does not suggest a genuine desire to avoid the spotlight. Kushner also claims that he did not suggest a secret back channel with the Russian ambassador, despite writing that he “asked if they had an existing communications channel at his embassy we could use where they would be comfortable transmitting the information they wanted to relay to Michael Flynn.” Sounds like ... a back channel.
Kushner is laying it on extremely thick here. But Kushner, a low-rent Count of Monte Cristo, is ruthless—a “killer” to use one of Trump’s favorite words, who has double-crossed and back-stabbed his way to the top. We’ve been here before with Trump officials, who always plead inexperience and incompetence and cop to whatever evidence is publicly available. They deny collusion and insist that what’s out there right now really is all there is. And then another shoe drops.