Monday, July 24, 2017

Depends on What Your Meaning of "Is" Is

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has insisted he “did not collude” with Russia during the presidential election, and dismissed the significance of a meeting with Donald Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer.

This sleaze bag may be the most ridiculous of all claiming no collusion. How does he explain trying to establish a back channel through the Russian embassy? Maybe "collude" means something else to him. But this...
"I had no improper contacts."
Improper? Nothing improper about seeking back channels through the Russians?
He [...] denies reports that he discussed setting up a secret back channel.
I see.  Kislyak's word against his?  He better hope Flynn doesn't throw him under the bus when it's his turn to explain that meeting.
Kushner says that when Kislyak asked if there was a secure line for him to provide information on Syria from his “generals”, Kushner asked if there was an existing communications channel at the embassy that could be used. He writes that Kislyak said “that would not be possible” and they agreed to wait until after the inauguration to receive the information.

“I did not suggest a ‘secret back-channel’.


I did not raise the possibility of using the embassy or any other Russian facility for any purpose other than this one possible conversation in the transition period.”
So very, very innocent. Kislyak simply wants a secure line to transmit information from his generals.  (Wouldn't that be information that should be going to the still-president Barack Obama if it couldn't wait a couple of months until Trump was in the White House?)  And Kushner asks if there isn't a secure line they can use at the embassy, because - they don't have any secure lines in the transition offices.  Honestly?  Trump has just been elected president of the United States and there's been an entire campaign scandal about email hacking and opposition research, and his campaign officials don't have a secure line in their office?  Bullshit.

By this point in the written testimony, Kushner has admitted to having asked Henry Fucking Kissinger for assitance in dealing with the foreign affairs issues of the campaign and presidency.  He wants it both ways: he was a novice and innocent of the ways of campaigning, and he had advice from the best political minds in the country.

Nothing "back channel" at all.  Nothing to see here.

Who does he think he's dealing with in this investigation? Fox pundits? Trump supporters?
The second transition-period meeting Kushner says he had with Russians was on 13 December, when he sat down with Sergey Gorkov, a banker with “a direct line to the Russian president”, as a courtesy to Kislyak. Their meeting lasted 20 to 25 minutes, Kushner writes, and Gorkov presented two gifts – a work of art and a bag of dirt from Nvgorod, [Kushner's] family’s ancestral village in Belarus.
A bag of dirt. Is that like the mafia kiss?
"I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector."
"Unlike the Trumps," he didn't have to say.  Is this subtle evidence that he's willing to throw the Trumps under the bus?  And, hey, what about this?
Kushner’s financial disclosure forms did not originally include the meetings with Russian officials. He blames this on an honest mistake made by his assistant at the time.
The Trump Cabal is good at blame.
Kushner’s [written] testimony will be submitted for the record before he answers questions from the Senate intelligence committee on Monday and House intelligence committee on Tuesday, both behind closed doors.


Kushner says in his statement that Trump Jr invited him to the [infamous June] meeting and reminded him of the time change to 4pm.

“That email was on top of a long back and forth that I did not read at the time,” he writes. “Documents confirm my memory that this was calendared as ‘Meeting: Don Jr | Jared Kushner.’ No one else was mentioned.”


He arrived late, he continues, and Veselnitskaya was talking about a ban on American families adopting Russian children.

“I had no idea why that topic was being raised and quickly determined that my time was not well spent at this meeting,” he writes.

“Reviewing emails recently confirmed my memory that the meeting was a waste of our time and that, 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 10 or so minutes and wrote: ‘Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting.’”
He realized just how serious a situation he was in, perhaps.  Or, he just realized he wasn't getting the information he was expecting and hoping to get from this meeting.  Perhaps pissed off at Junior.
His statement adds: “No part of the meeting I attended included anything about the campaign, there was no follow-up to the meeting that I am aware of, I do not recall how many people were there (or their names), and I have no knowledge of any documents being offered or accepted.”


Kushner denies any other contact with Kislyak during the campaign, contradicting media reports that he had had two phone calls with the ambassador.
Settle in. Kushner is going to lie his way through. Just like the rest of them.

The full 11-page written testimony is embedded in the Guardian article.

Kushner begins by stressing that he's a businessman, not a politician, and you may therefore infer that he perhaps made some innocent mistakes, never having been involved with a campaign before:

Sounds like Kushner and Junior lawyers are "colluding".

And with Trump's personal lawyers as well...

LOL. No, Jared. THAT's not at all important to this hearing. Not at all.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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