Kushner Takes The Only Life Boat, Watches Junior And Manafort Drown From The Shore

“I am not a person who has sought the spotlight.”

That’s the first stand-out sentence from the statement Jared Kushner released Monday morning in advance of his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. We’re willing to bet that line makes it into his daily mantra as he navigates the nightmare he’s realizing he married into. Oh, I don’t excuse Trump’s son-in-law for his part in any of the current investigation/fiasco/shenanigans. Don’t get me wrong. But his demeanor clearly indicates a man who is in a different category of prevaricator than the Trumps he now unfortunately finds himself wed to in more ways than just his nuptials with Ivanka.

His statement, first reported by CNN (in full here), is an absolute masterwork of distancing himself from the crimes that were obviously committed. With so much of The Meeting™ between Don Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, and himself already out in public — so much already confirmed — there is little to do but work with what he’s got. And so carefully, meticulously, Kushner has crafted a storyline that excises his participation in the shady dealings with the Kremlin lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya:

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…He eventually sent me his own email changing the time of the meeting to 4:00 p.m. That email was on top of a long back and forth that I did not read at the time…Documents confirm my memory that this was calendared as “Meeting: Don Jr.| Jared Kushner.” No one else was mentioned.
Note that Kushner doesn’t say he never read the “long back and forth” — presumed to be the email chain in which Don Junior expressed his giddiness at the prospect of gathering opposition intel on Hillary Clinton. Simply that he didn’t read it right when Don sent it. Kushner continues:
I arrived at the meeting a little late. When I got there, the person who has since been identified as a Russian attorney was talking about the issue of a ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children. I had no idea why that topic was being raised and quickly determined that my time was not well-spent at this meeting…I actually emailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for ten or so minutes and wrote “Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting.”
Ah, the old “I didn’t even want to be there” bit. I used that a lot when questioned by my mother about parties in high school (that I of course had absolutely nothing to drink at). I think I was at my most convincing when I told her all of the drinking had already been done before I even arrived.
I had not met the attorney before the meeting nor spoken with her since. I thought nothing more of this short meeting until it came to my attention recently…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. Finally, after seeing the email, I disclosed this meeting prior to it being reported in the press on a supplement to my security clearance form, even if that was not required as meeting the definitions of the form.
And that, folks, is how you effectively extricate yourself from a situation in which you are implicated, but not as the instigator.
By setting clear parameters of the difference between himself and people — Trumps, let’s say — who do “seek the spotlight,” Jared has set up a blameless vacuum in which nothing untoward happened because of him, while he was there, or with any knowledge on his part. In fact, Jared’s account doesn’t even dispute anything that investigators have turned up about the meeting, or that Junior (and his father) have now been forced to admit. It just paints a picture where he had nothing to do with it.
I wonder how Jared’s shoes look to Don, Jr. from under that bus.

 Featured image via Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

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