Jared Kushner actually spoke out Monday in a rare press briefing after appearing before the Senate intelligence committee in a closed door session. His remarks were nothing surprising. They included the usual denials of having nothing to do with the Russians.
‘Let me be very clear. I did not collude with Russia nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so.’
He left the briefing without taking any questions. A lengthy statement was also provided to explain a security clearance form that had drawn the ire of many.
So, how are the people who have worked with Kushner responding? MSNBC had a former employee of Kushner’s appear on The Beat with Ari Melber, and she didn’t buy Kushner’s explanations.
One of Kushner’s explanations included he was overworked, and he was also not very detail oriented. However, former editor-in-chief for the New York Observer Elizabeth Spiers described Kushner as the opposite of what he tried to portray.
‘No. He has a good work ethic, so it’s possible he was working harder than he is accustomed to. But in terms of the detail orientation, I find it implausible he would show up to the meeting without knowing what it was about. He’s a busy guy. In my experience, every meeting we had was planned and scheduled, and he always had an agenda for it…
“…I don’t find it credible that he had no idea what these meetings were about.’
Later in the interview, Spiers offered this observation of Kushner’s explanation.
‘I think at the very least you have to consider that his best defense here is, “I was completely ignorant of the process, and that I’m incompetent.”‘
Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman, who also appeared on the show, then called the excuse a “typical white collar defense.” He described it as an excuse he saw consistently throughout his career.
‘I used to have this all the time. “Oh, I’m so busy. I have so many things to do. I just didn’t know I was committing a crime.”‘
Spiers was given the last word. She finished it up saying:
‘You know, he says very specifically, “I didn’t rely on the Russians for financing.” That strikes me as a very lawyered articulation. He says he didn’t rely on it doesn’t mean he has no Russian financing. It just means the business wouldn’t necessarily fall apart if the Russian financing went away.’
You can watch the entire interview below.
Featured image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.