Even after half a dozen of his associates were indicted as part of the Russia investigation and as the barely metaphorical revolving door at the front of his administration keeps spinning with a stream of senior staff departures, President Donald Trump wants us to think he’s got the best team around. Tuesday, he touted his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner as “extraordinarily smart” on the occasion of him getting publicly interviewed at the Time 100 Summit, convened by the magazine on the occasion of their selection of the 100 “most influential people of 2019,” a list that does not include Kushner (although it does include Trump).
The president exclaimed on Twitter:
‘Great interview by Jared. Nice to have extraordinarily smart people serving our Country!’
Great interview by Jared. Nice to have extraordinarily smart people serving our Country! https://t.co/d6Tgrn4Tzn
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2019
Although it’s unclear if Trump actually watched the interview, there’s a key point that drives home just how vapid his pronouncement is. During Kushner’s appearance, he explicitly asserted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in U.S. elections has enacted more harm than the actual meddling itself. That investigation recently concluded with the observation that although the Trump team expected to benefit from Russian meddling via forms like thefts of emails from prominent Democrats, they took no criminally prosecutable steps to assist in that operation, although not for lack of trying. Donald Trump Jr., for instance, jumped at the opportunity to get dirt from the Kremlin on Hillary Clinton, asserting in an email he “loved” the idea.
Kushner, who Trump has long tasked with foreign policy, doesn’t think that’s an issue. He told his interviewer this Tuesday:
‘You look at what Russia did, you know, buying some Facebook ads to try and sow dissent and do it, it’s a terrible thing. But I think the investigations and all of the speculation that’s happened for the last two years has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple Facebook ads.’
To be clear — Russian meddling absolutely did not constitute just “a couple Facebook ads.” Mueller’s team brought charges against dozens of Russian nationals for crimes ranging from internet misinformation campaigns to hacks of Democratic email accounts. There’s a difference.
Kushner, of course, did not seemingly mention the “speculation” that his own father-in-law and boss has been responsible for over these last couple years. Donald Trump is the one who has proclaimed an orderly, reserved investigation of a global conspiracy to be “worst and most corrupt political Witch Hunt in the history of the United States” that media organizations like The New York Times “will have to get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness” over since they are “truly the Enemy of the People!”
That is not remotely normal language coming from a president of the United States, but Kushner had no words for the harmful impact of that rhetoric. Instead, he only offered vapid at best assertions about the supposed irrelevance of a global conspiracy to tilt U.S. elections and no doubt still wants us to trust his handling of delicate foreign policy issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Not gonna happen!
Check out Twitter’s response to the nonsense…
Featured Image via screenshot