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Jared Kushner releases 11-page statement before interview with Congress about Russia

President Donald Trump's son-in-law and aide Jared Kushner released a statement detailing the meetings with Russian figures that he would be testifying about with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday. (Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, released an 11-page statement detailing what he'd be saying at a Senate panel meeting Monday. The top aide to the president added details about four previously disclosed meetings and said there were no additional contacts to report.

"I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government," Kushner said in his statement. "I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector. I have tried to be fully transparent with regard to the filing of my SF-86 form, above and beyond what is required. Hopefully, this puts these matters to rest."

Kushner also noted the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer that has come under intense scrutiny after being revealed in a series of New York Times articles.

In the statement, Kushner said that he quickly surmised the meeting was not worth his time and emailed an assistant during the meeting to call him in order to give him a polite pretext to exit the rendezvous.

"No part of the meeting I attended included anything about the campaign," Kushner said. "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."

Trump Jr. has been criticized for saying there was absolutely no Russian collusion, but then later acknowledging he attended the meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer hoping to receive damaging information on then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.

Kushner indicated in his statement that he probably hadn't read that email but didn't say if he believed that they would be receiving information from a foreign government sympathetic to the campaign.

In another section of his statement, Kushner described meeting with a Russian ambassador along with another campaign official, Michael Flynn, in December 2016. He denied asking about opening a "secret back channel" to the Russian government, another conclusion reached from a leak to the media.

"I believed developing a thoughtful approach on Syria was a very high priority given the ongoing humanitarian crisis," he explained, "and I 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 General Flynn.

"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," Kushner said. "We did not discuss sanctions."

He concluded the section emphasizing in bold, "The fact that I was asking about ways to start a dialogue after Election Day should of course be viewed as strong evidence that I was not aware of one that existed before Election Day."

Kushner also discussed how it was that he had to add hundreds of contacts to his security clearance form, a fact his detractors have taken as proof he was hiding information about possible interactions with the Russian government. In the statement he said that the revision came as a result of a simple mistake and that it was merely a rough draft that was accidentally and prematurely submitted.

Kushner's testimony before staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee will be private, and he will not be under oath, but there are criminal charges applicable to those who knowingly give a false statement to Congress, whether under oath or not.

"It has been my practice not to appear in the media or leak information in my own defense," Kushner explained in his statement. "I have tried to focus on the important work at hand and serve this President and this country to the best of my abilities."

"I hope that through my answers to questions, written statements and documents I have now been able to demonstrate the entirety of my limited contacts with Russian representatives during the campaign and transition," he concluded.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump Jr. are scheduled to speak Wednesday with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. They struck a deal in order to speak in private and not under oath.

One last thing…
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