White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner said that the investigations into the Russian interference in the 2016 election has done more damage to the U.S than the inference efforts themselves, calling the whole thing a “distraction for the country.”

“And you look at what Russia did, you know, buying some Facebook ads to try to sow dissent and do it, and it’s a terrible thing,” he continued. “But I think the investigations and all the speculation that’s happened for the last two years has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple of Facebook ads.”

Kushner himself previously claimed that he had no contacts or connections with Russian officials though it it was later shown that he had numerous Russian contacts.

This was Kushner’s first public interview since the release of the redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s full report on his nearly two-year investigation into Russian inference. The report did not say that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.

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Though Russia sought to actively help Donald Trump win the 2016 election, campaign officials were either unaware of the efforts or not fully receptive to them.

A near 10 million users reported seeing Russian ads on Facebook around the time of the 2016 election. The Mueller Report shows that a Russian troll farm with links to the Kremlin, known as the Internet Research Agency, sought to sow discord among the American public on social media in favor of Trump.

Kushner himself was involved with a number of instances included in the report. One was a summer 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who had promised damaging information on Clinton.


On Tuesday, Kushner maintained that the campaign “didn’t know that Russia was doing what they were doing,” and said that he’d been cooperative with the special counsel’s investigation and other congressional probes.

Moderator Ben Brian noted that an assessment came out on October 6, 2016 from the Obama Administration stating that Russia was engaging in influence efforts.

Kushner largely ignored the comment and stated, “Everything that the president’s been saying, everything that I’ve been saying has now been fully authenticated.”

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