Shorter Jared: “It Depends upon What the Meaning of the Word ‘Collude’ Is”

Given that he’s already appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, it’s a bit late to analyze Jared Kushner’s public statement denying any collusion with the Russians who interfered in last year’s election. But the statement is too nifty to let it pass.

Jared’s lawyers would have you believe he is:

  • A young naif in the ways of the world
  • Who nevertheless has recall problems
  • Who asked to use Russian communications facilities but that’s not a back channel
  • And who was undone by his assistant
  • But what matters is really the collusion shiny object

A young naif in the ways of the world

Kushner starts by emphasizing over and over how inexperienced he is in the way of politics. Media has never been his job.

First in my business and now in public service, I have worked on achieving goals, and have left it to others to work on media and public perception.

Building companies has been his job, said the guy who is actually better at building debt, with all the possible compromise that might entail.

Before joining the administration, I worked in the private sector, building and managing companies. My experience was in business, not politics, and it was not my initial intent to play a large role in my father-in-law’s campaign when he decided to run for President.

Even in spite of this claimed total inexperience, Kushner came to run key parts of the campaign.

Over the course of the primaries and general election campaign, my role continued to evolve. I ultimately worked with the finance, scheduling, communications, speechwriting, polling, data and digital teams, as well as becoming a point of contact for foreign government officials.

Note how he mentions — but does not emphasize — the data analytics now suspected of helping Russians target voters in MI and WI “as well as” meeting a bunch of foreigners trying to influence pop-in-law’s campaign.

Kushner repeats, again, how inexperienced he is, implicitly blaming those “incredibly talented people” this utterly inexperienced naif reached out to for help.

All of these were tasks that I had never performed on a campaign previously. When I was faced with a new challenge, I would reach out to contacts, ask advice, find the right person to manage the specific challenge, and work with that person to develop and execute a plan of action. I was lucky to work with some incredibly talented people along the way, all of whom made significant contributions toward the campaign’s ultimate success.

In the last paragraph of this section, Kushner turns. This utterly inexperienced campaign kicked the collective ass of 16 other experienced politicians. It did so, Kushner adds just before pivoting to the (Russian) foreigners trying to help the campaign, because Trump’s utterly inexperienced son-in-law nevertheless managed to run one of the best campaigns in history!

Not only did President Trump defeat sixteen skilled and experienced primary opponents and win the presidency; he did so spending a fraction of what his opponent spent in the general election. He outworked his opponent and ran one of the best campaigns in history using both modern technology and traditional methods to bring his message to the American people.

Who nevertheless has recall problems

As Kushner turns to conversations with foreigners, he starts having recall problems — a word used nine different times.

The first, for his brief meeting with Sergey Kislyak and 3 other unnamed Ambassadors at the Mayflower. [all recall emphasis my own]

The first that I can recall was at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. in April 2016.

The second, for two calls Reuters has reported that Kushner insists never took place (which I’ll return to).

Reuters news service has reported that I had two calls with Ambassador Kislyak at some time between April and November of 2016. While I participated in thousands of calls during this period, I do not recall any such calls with the Russian Ambassador.

I hope to return to Kushner’s hunt through his own metadata to find these calls.

The third is Kislyak again, whom Kushner remembered but whose name he couldn’t recall five months later.

When the campaign received an email purporting to be an official note of congratulations from President Putin, I was asked how we could verify it was real. To do so I thought the best way would be to ask the only contact I recalled meeting from the Russian government, which was the Ambassador I had met months earlier,

Four, five, and six: the now infamous June meeting that Kushner only recalled when he reviewed the emails with his lawyers.

The only other Russian contact during the campaign is one I did not recall at all until I was reviewing documents and emails in response to congressional requests for information. In June 2016, my brother-in-law, Donald Trump Jr. asked if I was free to stop by a meeting on June 9 at 3:00 p.m.


I did not read or recall this email exchange before it was shown to me by my lawyers when reviewing documents for submission to the committees. 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.

The [read and] recall problems here are legally necessary, of course, given that Kushner had not disclosed this meeting on earlier sworn disclosures. So Kushner needs his past lack of recall to be even more credible than his claims not to recall any more meetings.

Number seven is odd. Kushner claims to “recall” meetings with fifty foreigners.

During this period, I recall having over fifty contacts with people from over fifteen countries. Two of those meetings were with Russians, neither of which I solicited.

These fifty contacts, of course, are the ones he failed to disclose on at least the first round of his security clearance form.

In the very next paragraph, Kushner reminds us: the same guy who can recall contacts with fifty foreigners couldn’t recall Kislyak’s name. Number eight.

As I mentioned before, previous to receiving this request, I could not even recall the Russian Ambassador’s name, and had to ask for the name of the individual I had seen at the Mayflower Hotel almost seven months earlier.

All these recalls and failed to recalls lead up to the ninth: the four contacts with Russians revealed in this statement are all that he recalls.

I have disclosed these contacts and described them as fully as I can recall.

Who asked to use Russian communications facilities but that’s not a back channel

Again: Kushner admits to four meetings. In the first he met with a guy whose name he didn’t recall. The second was a meeting that he entirely didn’t recall. Kushner’s failure to recall allows him to make this claim, which (CNN helpfully tells us) was emphasized in the original.

During the meeting, after pleasantries were exchanged, as I had done in many of the meetings I had and would have with foreign officials, I stated our desire for a fresh start in relations. Also, as I had done in other meetings with foreign officials, I asked Ambassador Kislyak if he would identify the best person (whether the Ambassador or someone else) with whom to have direct discussions and who had contact with his President. 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. [emphasis original]

Kushner’s failure of recall, then (as well as his claimed ignorance about the recall of any other people, including Mike Flynn and Don Jr), is a key break in the nonsensical chain that divorces any election discussions (which might be proof of a quid pro quo tying Russia’s election season activities to discussions afterwards) from transition discussions.

Consider how implausible it is that Kushner had no — zero!!! — forward-looking policy discussions with foreign officials during the campaign. He’s making this claim not just about Russia, but about all countries: Taiwan, the Emirates, Israel! He’s claiming all of these conversations were about fresh starts, all of them, but none of those fresh starts started before November 8.


Nevertheless, that bollocks statement allows Kushner to give virgin birth to the conversation — started days after the election — that has now borne fruit, Russia convincing the Trump administration to stop funding the CIA backed rebels and (tacitly, so far) leaving Russia’s client Bashar al-Assad in place.

This is the conversation that Kushner wanted to conduct using Russian, not American, facilities.

Oh, sure. Kushner claims they considered using Russian facilities because there was no “secure line” in the transition office.

The Ambassador expressed similar sentiments about relations, and then said he especially wanted to address U.S. policy in Syria, and that he wanted to convey information from what he called his “generals.” He said he wanted to provide information that would help inform the new administration. He said the generals could not easily come to the U.S. to convey this information and he asked if there was a secure line in the transition office to conduct a conversation. General Flynn or I explained that there were no such lines. I believed developing a thoughtful approach on Syria was a very high priority given the ongoing humanitarian crisis, 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. The Ambassador said that would not be possible and so we all agreed that we would receive this information after the Inauguration.

I assume someone has already disproved this statement, the claim there was a SCIF but no secure line in the transition office. It’s absurd in any case: Kushner and Flynn could just get Signal to conduct secret conversations with Russian generals!

Which suggests by “secure” Kushner means a line secure from our own intelligence officials.

You know? A back channel?

I did not suggest a “secret back channel.” I did not suggest an on-going secret form of communication for then or for when the administration took office. 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.

Uh huh. In any case, Kislyak got the message: while they might have to delay, Kushner and Flynn were willing to carry on that kind of communications with Russian generals. Which Kushner doesn’t seem to connect to the meeting with Sergey Gorkov.

Kushner’s claims about that meeting are even more nonsensical — so much so I’ll have to leave them for their very own post. Suffice it to say Kushner claims a discussion about a bank involved no conversation about banking.

And who was undone by his assistant

Having provided descriptions of the two conversations he had with Russians during the campaign and then provided allegedly dissociated conversations he had with Russians during the transition, Kushner turned to blaming his assistant for all of his disclosure failures on his SF-86.

Except, this explanation only covers his first two SF-86 forms, not the incomplete third form, the one that didn’t include the June 9 meeting.

In the week before the Inauguration, amid the scramble of finalizing the unwinding of my involvement from my company, moving my family to Washington, completing the paper work to divest assets and resign from my outside positions and complete my security and financial disclosure forms, people at my New York office were helping me find the information, organize it, review it and put it into the electronic form. They sent an email to my assistant in Washington, communicating that the changes to one particular section were complete; my assistant interpreted that message as meaning that the entire form was completed. At that point, the form was a rough draft and still had many omissions including not listing any foreign government contacts and even omitted the address of my father-in-law (which was obviously well known). Because of this miscommunication, my assistant submitted the draft on January 18, 2017.

That evening, when we realized the form had been submitted prematurely, we informed the transition team that we needed to make changes and additions to the form. The very next day, January 19, 2017, we submitted supplemental information to the transition, which confirmed receipt and said they would immediately transmit it to the FBI. The supplement disclosed that I had “numerous contacts with foreign officials” and that we were going through my records to provide an accurate and complete list. I provided a list of those contacts in the normal course, before my background investigation interview and prior to any inquiries or media reports about my form.

Between the time difference and more travel within Oz, I’m not sure whether NYT has fact-checked this claim yet, which I believe to be false given their reporting.

What’s certainly true is this statement makes it clear that Kushner didn’t get the June 9 meeting on his form before his first security clearance interview.

A good example is the June 9 meeting. For reasons that should be clear from the explanation of that meeting I have provided, I did not remember the meeting and certainly did not remember it as one with anyone who had to be included on an SF-86. When documents reviewed for production in connection with committee requests reminded me that meeting had occurred, and because of the language in the email chain that I then read for the first time, I included that meeting on a supplement.

What’s also true is Kushner pretends it is normal to have someone playing a key foreign policy role for six months with nothing but an interim clearance.

That is, what Kushner doesn’t address here is that his inability to disclose who he spoke with and why has left the US exposed to potentially unaccounted influence operations.

But what matters is really the collusion shiny object

In short, Kushner’s narrative is not only unconvincing, but it is internally inconsistent.

Which may be why Kushner ends his statement with another big bolded passage, this one disclaiming any knowledge of “collusion.”

It has been my practice not to appear in the media or leak information in my own defense. 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. I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government. 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.

It’s very earnest, this paragraph from a guy whose statement makes himself look totally unqualified for his role in the White House, hoping to put this matter behind him so he can get on with providing those inadequate skills to the country.

Three times in the paragraph to supplement the nine invocations of his limited recall, Kushner expresses hope, but no confidence, he has covered everything.

I hope … I have now been able to demonstrate the entirety of my limited contacts

I have tried to be fully transparent

Hopefully, this puts these matters to rest.

Amid this message of service and hope, however, Kushner is offering a great big shiny object.

As Jim Comey (a far more qualified civil servant than Kushner, whom Kushner personally pushed to be fired for that service) said months ago, FBI is not assessing whether there was “collusion” here. The term is legally meaningless. What they’re looking for is “coordination,” the kind of coordination you might find in a discussion about capitulating to Russian policy in Syria — even setting up a back channel to do so — in the immediate wake of an election decided with the help of those same Russians.

There’s plenty of evidence to support that kind of coordination in this statement.

68 replies
  1. RexFlex says:

    “in the immediate wake of an election decided with the help of those same Russians.”
    Does anyone think that the tactics that were used to “decide” the election would have the same effects if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio had run against Hillary?
    Remember it was all about the Russians, specifically Vlad despising HRC.
    If not, then I would have to say that that premise above is quite questionable.

    • lefty665 says:

      Hillary was such a bad candidate and Mook ran such a terrible campaign she could have lost to any of them. Schumer hit it right on the nose the other day with “when you lose to someone with a 40% approval rating you can’t blame Comey or the Russians”. Trump was her choice of Repubs to run against, it could have been worse.  We could have had president Jeb! or Marco or (god forbid) Ted in a landslide.

      That does not exonerate Kushner. Between him and Junior they’re so clueless they could rename the Dunning-Kruger syndrome Junior-Jared.

      • Cold N. Holefield says:

        They may be Clueless but Manafort isn’t and Manafort took that meeting. As a Political Shark, Manafort knew and therefore they ALL knew what they were doing and did it anyway.

        • lefty665 says:

          Manafort is about to get rolled for money laundering in his New York real estate deals. This may come apart for all of them when he sings.

      • Rev Flex says:

        My point is, play out all of the election, sans the Kushner, Manafort, Flynn shenanigans and would the same tactics used by the Russians  have “decided” the election for any of the other GOP candidates?

        Were the interactions with the Russians by the Three Stooges crucial to how it was ‘Decided” by the Russians?

        Again, I think the assertion that the Russians “decided” the election is specious.

          • RexFlex says:

            Harpie, here is the quote that I’m using. It’s from the last full paragraph in this particlar article.

            “The term is legally meaningless. What they’re looking for is “coordination,” the kind of coordination you might find in a discussion about capitulating to Russian policy in Syria — even setting up a back channel to do so — in the immediate wake of an election decided with the help of those same Russians.”

            • harpie says:

              Thanks for the reply.

              Sorry, but saying

              “[…] an election decided with the help of those same Russians.”

              is not the same as:

              the Russians “decided” the election

              • RexFlex says:

                Then what’s the point?

                The implication is that it made a difference to the extent that the candidate with their help won.

                If not then you have wasted a lot of time explaining how their influence was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

                • RexFlex says:

                  Reminds me of the flame wars I used to get into with Pachacutec over at FDL.

                  Senseless, illogical,specious explanations for dealing with denial.

                  • harpie says:

                    You said:

                    Again, I think the assertion that the Russians “decided” the election is specious.

                    And I think your assertion that emptywheel made that assertion is specious.

                • harpie says:

                  Sorry, but

                  [Russian help] made a difference

                  is not the same as

                  the Russians decided the election

                  • RexFlex says:

                    You are omiting the rest of the sentence:

                    ” in the immediate wake of an election decided with the help of those same Russians.”.

                    Puff Puff, Give, time to move on.

      • Desider says:

        Hillary was such a bad candidate that even with the Russians secretly playing a well-financed hacking/leaks & social media disinformation game, Giuliani & Erik Prince illegally conspiring to get Comey to smear her, the GOP preventing large numbers of Democratic-supporting blacks from voting, and much of the media taking gratuitous sexist & hateful potshots at her for a period of years, she still managed to win the popular vote by 2-3 million.

        I’d like to know what a “good” candidate might do.

    • Cold N. Holefield says:

      You raise a good point. Does Russian Meddling go back further than what The Deep State claims, meaning, did Russia arrange for Trump to win the Republican Primary as well? Did The Deep State want this? Does The Deep State want Trump for this Time? If so, what is this Time? I suppose Only Time Will Tell, however, if it does want Trump for this Time you know it has to be something Absurdly & Incomprehensibly Radical considering the Insanity of Trump. It’s a Horribly Cynical Strategy if it is indeed a Strategy. Jeb, for example, had a sizable War Chest early on and looking back, it’s as though he went out of his way to Throw It. He did EVERYTHING wrong, and I’m sorry, but he’s not THAT stupid. The Bushes are a lot of things, but they’re not stupid even though they feign to be.

    • Rayne says:

      Neither Jeb nor Rubio would have been successful targets for manipulation as they did not have a history of questionable behavior suitable for leverage or sympathy for Russia.

      A field of 16 made it easier for unified factions inside the U.S. to pare down the field. Such a large field suggests there was no collective GOP sentiment toward a single candidate, and after roughly two decades of Overton Window-ing to hyper-conformity, none of the candidates had a truly differentiating brand.

      Save one, who sadly had his brand constructed for him by reality TV pumped into U.S. households for +13 years. The perfect Manchurian candidate — America wouldn’t have tolerated any of the rest of the field in their houses once a week during prime time television viewing because those 15 weren’t entertaining.

      And that’s the biggest single reason why HRC was not as effective against Brand Trump — whose mother is entertaining, after all? When Trump’s America grows up they’ll realize being entertained is not a substitute for effective governance and legitimate democracy.

        • Rayne says:

          To what “targets” are you referring?

          I’ll assume you mean voters and I’ll use my state as an example — a good one, since it was a swing state and likely affected just as I’ll describe here.

          First, we can’t rule out that voter databases were manipulated, which could have resulted in higher than usual voter disenfranchisement. ~70,000 voters were turned away at the polls here in Michigan because of various problems including voter ID. With the win/loss margin only ~10,000 votes, this would have been more than enough to affect the outcome of the presidential race in this state AND this tactic would not rely on changing votes.

          Second, turn out could have been manipulated by way of social media messaging targeting voters who were on the bubble. This activity would fly below pollsters’ numbers and could explain why Trump visited here in MI very late in the race and HRC did not — HRC’s polling numbers would have shown HRC slightly ahead, just outside of MOE. But Trump’s final visit in this state tells you where that target demo was: south of Flint/north of Detroit, where the population is majority white and sensitive to issues related to race and violence. Trump’s use of data by SCL/Cambridge Analytica would have identified key groups vulnerable to messaging about race/immigration/job loss/violence in this area and saturated them the last week. Specifically, white women who could go either way voting for HRC or Trump — scare these gun rights-soccer mom types, add the voter disenfranchisement at the polls, and Trump was inside MOE.

          That’s just two kinds of manipulation. I can think of more but this is enough to generate ~10K winning votes.

          EDIT: Just dawned on me that it was social media which clinched it. His last visit wasn’t widely advertised with media buys because it was so late and media already saturated. Trump’s last visit would have been pushed primarily by social media, and the attendance at the rally a sign that the social media manipulation worked. ~smdh~

          • RexFlex says:

            The targets I was refering to were Trump’s stooges.
            But while we’re at it I’ll use your targets and your comments about them in particular.
            Social media? More so than the idea of a corrupt choice in the other candidate?

            More so than bad/lame advertising on her part?

            More so than Trump defeating 16 other candidates PRIOR to any antics with Trump’s players?

            You must smoke really good weed in Michigan.

            • Rayne says:

              How much of your opinion of HRC has been shaped by manipulated opinion which began with the rise of Fox News and right-wing talk radio in the 1990s? Believe me, I’ve had to look closely at this myself. It’s very difficult to acknowledge your head’s been fucked with repeatedly. It’s also very difficult to acknowledge your entire country has been fucked with for decades.

              Here, this video gives some idea of the problem; it’s all interesting, but at ~0:54:10 onward is the pertinent part. [] Were we fucked over by a sleeper program left from decades ago which became institutionalized as right-wing media?

              (For that matter, who the hell are you? You’ve got less than two dozen comments under your belt here. Are you also part of the persistent borking of American perception?)

              Anyhow, demoralizatsiya and ideological subversion aside, could HRC’s campaign have been tighter? Could messaging have been stronger? Sure — every candidate ever could have improved their game. (Don’t even start with me about her platform if you haven’t read it.) But HRC was up against a headwind the like of which no candidate has ever faced — +20 years of smears, much of which was based in sexism, a husband who offered more baggage than aid, a weak DNC chair, a primary opponent who couldn’t be bothered to join the Dem Party until just before choosing to run for POTUS and insisted on equal access to all the same party resources, rogue FBI elements dogging the administration in a way that damaged HRC’s campaign, combined with Russian-spawned bot armies with fake news and more bots dogging Bernie bros, the DNC hacking, an entire cable network and all of right-wing radio ragging on her, so on — and there’s no way ANY candidate would have stood up to that. The effort to ditch the 15 GOP stooges in the primary was a piece of cake in contrast.

              Now ask yourself how Trump — who is so obviously corrupt and skeevy in myriad ways — still managed to get elected, literally stealing the GOP out from under itself. It wasn’t about the ~quality~ of the candidates but the cultural hacking which manipulated the vote.

              I haven’t even touched on the coordinated effort of white nationalists to assure Trump won over the rest of the GOP field. There was even more culture hacking going on that we simply didn’t see because it never occurred to most Americans this could ever happen.

              I only wish I smoked weed. The last substance I consumed was a glass of wine a week ago. As Bezemenov said, we’re not living in a time of peace, we are living in a time of war. I don’t dare get stupid now.

              • RexFlex says:

                ” still managed to get elected, literally stealing the GOP out from under itself. It wasn’t about the ~quality~ of the candidates but the cultural hacking which manipulated the vote.’

                Pure horse shit.

      • emptywheel says:

        Disagree about Rubio. He’s got plenty to blackmail. Maybe easier for some other countries to use. But easy.

        Jeb!? His dad was former CIA Director. They’d be smarter about all this.

        • Rayne says:

          But Rubio wasn’t Russia-sympathetic. If an email from someone known to be Russia-friendly/adjacent with a subject, “Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential” showed up in Rubio’s or a campaign aide’s mailbox, there would have been a very different reaction than Junior Trump’s. The leverage only works once the target takes the dangle. Maybe if the tack had been Cuba, but the problem for Russia is the inability for them to muster aid from white nationalists to support Rubio. Whatever baggage Rubio had can’t be leveraged if there’s inadequate support to create a fulcrum.

          And yeah, Jeb would have been least likely. Probably the reason why Fusion GPS linked to his campaign. I suspect his own baggage made him uncomfortable with running.

        • RexFlex says:

          The idea is that what ever spell the “Russians” put on Trump Et al, it translated into what?

          Votes being changed? Blackmail?  Social media hypnosis like Telephon?While our Intel Agencies allowed it to happen?

          Maybe you all are too sober.

          I respect Marcy’s mind but this avenue of Tinker ,Tailor Etc, is just a coping mechanism for  not dealing with reality.

          Specious beyondous.

          • Rayne says:

            You are either being obtuse or policing what we write. Bag it and take it with you. You know where the door is if you don’t like it. You can also check the tags at the top of each post here before you bother to read. Skip the ones marked Russian Hacks or Russians.

  2. MaDarby says:

    You guys are really making fools of yourselves. I mean really, its all Imperial propaganda Mike Pence for president – its both offensive and hilarious to see grown people so obsessed. It’s kind of like pokemon-go, which outlet can come up with the rare altered reality figure to “prove” the already known evil of the godless Russians, Chinese and Iranians.

    Colin Powell was a soldier following his orders to the end when he humiliated himself – what’s your excuse?


    • Rayne says:

      Do you have anything constructive to add to conversations here? Out of 10 comments you’ve made to date, only your comments in threads focusing on economics have been cogent and added material for discussion.

      Step up your own game, first by discontinuing policing content. If you don’t like what you read here, find a different site.

    • Willis Warren says:

      It’s hilarious to see grown people so obsessed?

      Uh, we’re talking about treason here.  An idiot is in the White House.  Everyone should be obsessed with this.

  3. Cold N. Holefield says:

    Well, he’s right. When it comes to The Law & Lawyers, everything is up for debate and open to interpretation. Collusion is interpreted according to What’s In Your Wallet, meaning, the way The Law works in Practice versus Theory is that if you’re willing to pay, if you have The Means, you can buy a Suitable Interpretation that allows you to circumvent The Law. If you can’t pay, if you don’t have The Means and most don’t, you pay another way.

    The aforementioned needs to change, along with so many other destructive characteristics of our System like Special Interest Groups & Lobbying, before we can evolve Socially. True Social Evolution will require an entirely New System because this current System cannot be reformed precisely because it’s doing exactly what it’s intended to do.

    A Better Deal? Yeah, I don’t think so. The Benchmark for what is considered a Good Deal has been dropping as precipitously as EROI for Fossil Fuels. It’s headed to Less Than Zero and may have even arrived. At this point, A Better Deal is tantamount to being shot in the head versus having your throat slit. Some Deal that is.

    Legal Murder

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Legal characterizations provided by the suspect himself is PR.  It is not a credible conclusion based on facts not yet in evidence.

    Were Mr. Kushner as naive, uninformed and forgetful as he pretends, he should apologize to all America and immediately resign.  (He should do the same for the myriad private companies he works for.)  So should the man blank enough to have appointed him to be assistant president, with responsibility for whatever the president doesn’t understand and can’t be bothered with.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Forgetfulness is a convenient out if Kushner hopes to avoid criminal liability, either for crimes or for covering up unseemly behavior.  If his lawyers were involved in the strategy, it’s a delicate dance of hypotheticals for them to avoid suborning perjury.

    Kushner, however, runs a billion dollar real estate empire, and would negotiate frequently with megabankers and more risk tolerant members of the mega-wealthy.  Some of the mega-wealthy, such as Russians straight out of a le Carre novel, are prone to take things personally when their loans are in jeopardy or not repaid on time and with the appropriate interest.  It’s doubtful Mr. Kushner would still have both knee caps if his memory and competence were as faulty as he claims.  Now, of course, he has other tokens to put on the table beside his own kneecaps.


  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Meanwhile, daddy Trump, ever willing to take responsibility, is trying to goad Jeff Sessions into resigning.  As has frequently been suggested, Mr. Trump’s business dealings would appear as able to withstand prosecutorial scrutiny as a vampire would a day at the beach.  Mr. Trump must be afraid that even Jeff Sessions might go part way toward doing his job as Attorney General.  Has he Anthony Scaramucci in mind to replace him?

    • harpie says:

      Maggie Haberman‏Verified account @maggieNYT 

      I asked two ppl close to Trump why he is tormenting Sessions instead of  firing him. The answer from both, paraphrased: Because he can.

      • harpie says:

        And Poor JeffBeau agrees with Maggie and thinks Trump is being mean, too:
        Kyle Griffin‏Verified account @kylegriffin1  

        “Sessions is totally pissed off about [Trump],” a Sessions ally tells Daily Beast. “It’s beyond insane. It’s cruel.”

        Of ALL the despicable cruel things Trump has said and done, THIS is the thing that elicits a complaint from JeffBeau!

    • Rayne says:

      As sad and iffy as that NYT-Trump interview was, the output makes it difficult for rational persons not to wonder if Fearless Leader has issues warranting discussion by the public. Finally, some professionals can ask if he is mentally competent to uphold his oath of office and faithfully execute U.S. law.

    • harpie says:

      Trump [WSJ]:

      “[…] I had 40,000 people. He was a senator from Alabama. I won the state by a lot, massive numbers. A lot of the states I won by massive numbers. But he was a senator, he looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, ’What do I have to lose?’ And he endorsed me. So it’s not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement. But I’m very disappointed in Jeff Sessions.” […] 

      • harpie says:

        Sessions should have listened to Sarah Kendzior:
        Sarah Kendzior‏Verified account @sarahkendzior 16 Sep 2016

        What media and GOP don’t get is any action taken now out of fear or favor expires in November. Your loyalty to Trump won’t be rewarded. / I study authoritarian states. I know how this works. Maybe he’s blackmailing you. Maybe he’s bribing you. Either way, his word is no good. / Trump is going to screw you over like he screws everyone else over. He will humiliate you and you will have sacrificed yourself for nothing. 

      • harpie says:

        Trump [speech]:

        I want the AG to be much tougher on the leaks from intelligence agencies

        Joshua Green‏Verified account @JoshuaGreen 

        Trump adviser told me this was the path out of the doghouse for Sessions. Will he heel?

      • harpie says:

        My series of comments beginning at 3:55 should have been under EoH comment at 9:37 with the rest of the Sessions conversation.


  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Sessions fits into this topic because it roils the DoJ and all its work, which must be what makes Trump most afraid.

    As for Trump’s treatment of Sessions, one of his first and most ardent supporters and one of the most important members of his Cabinet, Trump seems driven to humiliate others. It’s part and parcel of his excessive self-love (and hate). He is driven to tear down other people, as publicly and with as much torment as possible.

    Presumably, it’s to make being himself tolerable. Chaos also works in Trump’s favor. It distracts from his inability to be president rather than to campaign for the job, distracts from the inability of the Goopers to do anything positive, despite controlling both houses of Congress and the WH. Chaos undercuts the legitimacy of a competent Department of Justice. That would be an essential part of his defense against the rule of law.

    • harpie says:

      Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 

      Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers! 3:12 AM – 25 Jul 2017

      Jack Goldsmith [Lawfare, today]

      At no time in modern history (and perhaps ever) has a President been so openly at odds, and bent on discrediting, his senior law enforcement and intelligence officials.

      Matthew Miller‏Verified account @matthewamiller 

      Maybe Sessions can report Trump to Melania’s cyberbullying initiative?

      No one can seriously be surprised about Trump’s actions. He telegraphed this type of thinking/behavior throughout the campaign.
      Remember the second debate when he said:

      And I’ll tell you what. I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it. But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it, and we’re going to have a special prosecutor.

      To which Clinton replied:

      […] it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

      …and Trump responded:

      Because you’d be in jail.

      Sarah Kendzior‏Verified account @sarahkendzior  [THREAD]

      5. In the case of Sessions/Mueller, you see an AG expected to act as POTUS personal attorney, which Sessions has done. But role has limits. […] 7. All was predictable. But investigation was too late, media normalized him and lied for him, GOP propped him up. Dug your own graves.

      • harpie says:

        Preet Bharara‏Verified account @PreetBharara  

        Trump & Sessions, two studies in weakness. Trump won’t fire the AG though he wants him gone. Sessions won’t stand up for himself. Truly weak


    • posaune says:

      Chaos is DT’s consistent card, the automatic default.   This is seen as a major symptom in families with intergenerational trauma.   There was recently discovered (2015 Univ Wisconsin) a “trauma gene” in which the neurogenesis of gene replication for neural pathways mutates following significant trauma.   (My son adopted from foster care was diagnosed last year with this genetic defect, homozygous from both bio parents.) The mutation can occur on two genes:  C677T and A2398C.  Long term effects include early-onset dementia, Parkinson’s, psychiatric & mental health dx, neurological reflex deficiencies.   I seriously wonder if this is the case for Donald Trump, given the degradation of his speech and language over the past 10 years.

  8. Pete says:

    That face. That baby face. With the dimples. I mean he couldn’t possibly be lying..

    /sarc off

    A bit more seriously, anyone know a good body language analyst?

    • Rayne says:

      May not need body language analysis, merely more fine reading of his statements to date like Marcy has done here.

      I note both Matt Pearce/LAT and Jim Sciutto/CNN took note of Wonder Boy-in-Law’s use of the word “relied”:

      “I have not relied on Russian funds for my businesses”

      That’s what money laundering is for, silly boy! ~smh~


  9. Cold N. Holefield says:

    As far as Kushner’s Demeanor & Appearance are concerned, I think he hails from the same Planet as Assange. Seriously, Assange & Kushner appear as though they’re not of, or from, this World. Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Perhaps. You never know.

    Both Kushner & Assange are Elf-Like in Demeanor & Appearance & Affect. What are the odds that two seemingly disparate people from very disparate backgrounds can resemble each other so closely in Demeanor & Appearance & Affect? Two people, mind you, with an inexplicable amount of influence.

    Throw in Jon Ossoff and we have a Trifecta of High Weirdness. We do live in Interesting Times. Frightening Times. Who could have predicted this? Yet here we are and NO ONE can intelligently describe what’s REALLY transpiring. EVERYONE is Grasping at Straws.

  10. harpie says:

    …ah, the memories!
    “Congress is moving fast to rush through a health care overhaul that lacks a key ingredient: the full participation of you, the American people.”-Paul Ryan, July 18, 2009

  11. harpie says:

    Not O/T [for a change ;-} ]
    Firm of Oligarch Behind Trump Jr. Meeting Was “Primary Client” of Co. Probed for Money Laundering Mother Jones; 7/25/17 9:48am 
    […] Documents from a US government investigation reveal Aras Agalarov’s relationship with a firm that helped circulate $1.4 billion through US bank accounts. […]

    On Monday [7/24/17], Levin, a onetime chairman of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations who left Congress in 2015, sent a letter [letter at link] to special counsel Robert Mueller and the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate intelligence committee highlighting the probe (titled “Possible Money Laundering by U.S. Corporations Formed for Russian Entities”), which was undertaken at his request by the General Accounting Office (now known as the Government Accountability Office, or GAO). […]

  12. robin says:

    With all the sensation seeking I am getting so tired of this partisan witch hunt and nitpicking over technical details. Cant we for once just take this statement at face value? Soon an endless stream of republicans will have joined the “too disorganized, structurally unprepared, unaware of diplomatic realities, key players and sanctions and most of all too incompetent to collude” defense. It seems we should celebrate the rare point everyone can come together and agree on… and then act on.

    Jared Kushner is, by his own admission, not the best choice right now for dealing with the middle east conflict and would be better able to serve his country promoted to be the next ambassador to someplace warm, and possibly without an extradition treaty. Why get rid of a career official like Flynn for so much less? Even the Trump war cabinet must agree on this as a legal strategy, every day Kusher walks around the west wing is a major liability. So why is he still there?

    Its easy for those of us not in higher office to judge on the strictest principle but a little nepotism can be a victimless crime, which is why so far it has understandably not gotten a lot of attention. Though the white house still has many critical vacancies to it it still far from a lean place and the thing about one advisor is, well you can always ignore the advice.

    And for now there is only the dim outlines of a quid-pro-quo of ending sanctions for campaign help. There is witnesses who can talk or supply 7 more sets of e-mails… but for now we don’t know what was said in that meeting. Cynicism makes it easy to forget that everyone at that meeting was human and that they may not think every action trough ahead of time. If there is dirt on Hillary because she really did do something wrong, what is wrong with trying to get that dirt? Sure for us with hindsight and without the stress of a running a campaign we outsiders can ask: If the Kremlin had its own Trump campaign office, why didn`t they just leak the dirt themselfs? Why the hassle of working with the campaign?.. unless… at least this anti-sanctions lobby wanted something in return?

    We could shrug our shoulders at some nepotism induced incompetence, and the “I make mistakes but I am not a supervillian” defense is actually pretty sympathetic… but I am sorry, the combination: “I am keeping my stepdaddies job because I am too incompetent to have committed the wrongdoing I allegedly did on the job” well that is just too damn close to the definition of Chutzpah.

    And if the endlessly implausible statement really does turn out chock-full of lies, well that is hardly a reason to keep Jared around is it?

    • Rayne says:

      I’m going to try to cut through that excess wordage for you.

      This: “If there is dirt on Hillary because she really did do something wrong, what is wrong with trying to get that dirt?”

      Opposition research is fine.

      Working with foreign nationals, particularly those from a country with which we are at odds (see Executive Orders 13660, 13661, 13662), is not fine.

      Here’s an overview of federal election law on this point:

      There also are two federal prohibitions which apply to both federal and state campaigns. First, a “foreign national” may not contribute to any election campaign. Id. § 441e(a). A foreign national is either a corporation which is formed in a foreign country or has its headquarters in a foreign country, or an individual who is a foreign citizen and has not been admitted for permanent residence in the United States. Accordingly, foreign citizens with a “green card” are not foreign nationals and may contribute.

      Here’s the law itself:

      §441e. Contributions by foreign nationals

      (a) It shall be unlawful for a foreign national directly or through any other person to make any contribution of money or other thing of value, or to promise expressly or impliedly to make any such contribution, in connection with an election to any political office or in connection with any primary election, convention, or caucus held to select candidates for any political office; or for any person to solicit, accept, or receive any such contribution from a foreign national.

      Hire a reputable consultant in the U.S. to do opposition research. That’s what all other U.S. campaigns do and have done.

      As for the rest of your comment: Ignorance of the law is not a defense. Just as Kushner surely uses consultants for matters like finance and real estate about which he knows little to nothing, he could have sought expertise. He and Team Trump could have asked the Republican National Committee what to do if they were so out of their depth. They have NO legitimate excuses on this point.

  13. GKJames says:

    Kushner’s mockery comes through loud and clear. It matches the president’s. (That’s what 62.9 million people asked for — and got — when they howled for “change” or, in self-righteous narcissism, deluded themselves with the belief that the two candidates were equally bad.)  And who knows? Maybe the Kushner apple won’t fall far from the tree such that, like his old man, he gets nailed for fraud some sort or other. In his photos, he always looks like he just stole something.

  14. RexFlex says:

    Bag it and take it with you?
    How open minded to criticism you are. Thin skinned are we?
    I will send Marcy a reminder via snail mail why I won’t give her a dime because her “collusion” with disturbed people like you and Harpie.
    Good Luck to you and your perpetual denial and subsequent specious arguments.

    • bmaz says:

      You are being an insulting ass. You can take your letter and shove it. Rayne was very nice to you given your misogynistic insulting behavior. I won’t be. Pull that again, and you will be gone.

      • harpie says:

        Straw man argument: July 25, 2017 at 2:45 am

        Failed attempt to defend straw man argument: July 25, 2017 at 4:27 pm

        Belligerent: July 25, 2017 at 6:25 pm

        Abusive: July 25, 2017 at 6:32 pm

         Threatening: July 25, 2017 at 8:27 pm

  15. greengiant says:

    The recent storm of Putin bots in media would seem to foreshadow more bad news for the donald. We know Trump repeats fake news where it will get interesting is when the campaign is found to have used fake news, fake emails, provided by Putin and the oligarchs.
    About Trump rallies, post election we see many GOP funded “free speech” rallies which are aroused through various social media channels. During the election Parscale and friends used the nationbuilder software for example.
    Regarding the 2016 election, a Michigan resident told me that the Trump “poll watchers” were a turn out deterrent. Whether the TLAs eventually support connecting the dots remains to be seen. For example the TLAs and prior administrations took their bribes and got no convictions from the financial crisis and watched trillions of dollars get off shored.
    I think it is possible some 2016 vote hacking will come to light. Just as when more than one actor hacked the DNC when more than one actor hacks the same ballot the least elegant vote hack draws attention. Thinking vote hacking is progressing from state wide hacking and state server hacking. State of the art would use election polling or real time sampling to make the hack as small and uniformly distributed as possible. Where there are no hand counts or where hand counts have no effect on recounts, read Wisconsin and Michigan for example, the hacks are not discovered by recounts.

  16. Mitchell says:

    Even shorter Jared:
    What kind of person gets close to Donald’s daughter in order to get close to and mentored by Donald?
    An awful person, of course. Or in this case, Jared.

    • Rayne says:

      That’s a pretty good point. Who wants a piece of Mr. Multiple Bankruptcies? A guy with daddy issues whose father was prosecuted for tax evasion, witness tampering, and illegal campaign contributions. ~smh~

  17. P J Evans says:

    RexFlex says:
    July 25, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    GFY. Rayne is worth far more to this blog than you.

  18. bmaz says:

    Dear Rex Flex: You are right.

    You are done here. You will not be allowed to pull the misogynistic and jerky shenanigans you have. Buh bye.

Comments are closed.