In an exceedingly rare public appearance for the Trump son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner sat down for a lengthy interview with Time Magazine's top White House correspondent on Tuesday where he claimed that the Mueller probe had done more damage to American democracy than Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election.
Kushner, who was one of the few top Trump aides to sit for interviews with the Mueller team, and whose name appeared frequently in the report, said that Russia's 'interference' during the campaign amounted to "a couple of Facebook ads."
"You look at what Russia did, buying some Facebook ads and trying to sow dissent. It's a terrible thing,” Kushner said. "But I think the investigations and all of the speculation that's happened for the last two years has a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple Facebook ads."
Kushner, who was speaking publicly for the first time since the redacted report was released on Thursday, added that the low dollar amount Russia allegedly spent on the ads wasn't significant; as a senior campaign advisor, Kushner spent more money on Facebook ads in a few minutes than Russia spent during the entire campaign, he said.
"I think they said they spent $160,000. I spent $160,000 on Facebook every three hours during the campaign...If you look at the magnitude of what they did, the ensuing investigations have been way more harmful."
Of course, the report revealed that Mueller found no evidence of collusion, and he also cleared Trump on obstruction. The report also confirmed that a drunken conversation between George Papadopoulos and an Australian diplomat who may have been working with Russia intelligence was used as justification to launch the 22-month investigation, which cast a shadow over the first half of Trump's term.
Moving on to another topic, Kushner said the White House is preparing to release its long-awaited Middle East peace plan in the coming months. Kushner, who was charged with spearheading the plan, declined to give any details about whether it would involve a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.
Time posted the entire interview on Twitter.
And offering rare praise for Time Magazine, which Trump famously criticized when he tweeted that he had turned down an offer to be the magazine's person of the year for 2017, Trump promoted the "great interview" on his twitter feed.
Great interview by Jared. Nice to have extraordinarily smart people serving our Country! https://t.co/d6Tgrn4Tzn— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2019
Though some weren't so enthusiastic about Kushner's performance.
On Sunday, Kellyanne Conway wouldn’t even acknowledge Russia helped Trump.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 23, 2019
And Rudy Giuliani effectively said it was fine if they did.
Today, Jared Kushner said the attack was no more than a few Facebook ads.
There is no patriotism in Trump’s GOP. Only cowardly opportunism. https://t.co/hYYgLUlUpN