Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and a senior White House aide, argued Monday that efforts by Democrats to blame the 2016 election on Russian interference "ridicules" millions of people who voted for Trump.
"Donald Trump had a better message and ran a smarter campaign, and that is why he won," Kushner said in a brief and rare White House statement. "Suggesting otherwise ridicules those who voted for him."
That's an argument Trump himself has been making for months now, although Trump has gone further by saying the Russia probe is a "witch hunt" being orchestrated by Democrats who still can't cope with his election victory.
Kushner: Trump had a better message & ran a smarter campaign. That is why he won. Suggesting otherwise, "ridicules those who voted for him" pic.twitter.com/5U9xEHQKv4— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 24, 2017
Kushner didn't go that far, but echoed a written statement he released Monday that said he at no time was colluding with Russian officials to help Trump pull out a win against Hillary Clinton.
"Let me be very clear: I did not collude with Russia nor do I know of anyone else on the campaign who did so," Kushner told reporters at the White House on Monday.
Kushner, who rarely speaks in public, said he has not "sought the spotlight" during his time in the White House but has tried to answer every question about his alleged ties to Russia.
Kushner delivered his 11-page written statement to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, just before meeting with them. He spoke at the White House shortly after meeting with the Senate committee for more than two hours, and he'll meet with the House committee on Tuesday.
His statement outlined four meetings he had with Russian officials, but said they were all brief, and only touched on general issues. He said he never sought to create a secret line of communication between Russia and the incoming Trump administration, as some press reports had said.
Kushner has come under fire for attending a meeting in summer 2016 with a Russian lawyer claiming to have "sensitive" information about Hillary Clinton, and his testimony took on added importance after details of the meeting, which included Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, were reported earlier this month.
In his prepared statement, Kushner said he had very little knowledge of the gathering, and left quickly after it began.
"I arrived at the meeting a little late," Kushner said in his written statement. "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."
Kushner's own business dealings are part of the Russia probes, and he has been criticized for failing to disclose his contacts with foreign officials on his application for a security clearance, which he has since updated three times and added more than 100 names.
But Kushner said that information was unintentionally left off the form because of a "miscommunication" with his assistant.
The document, Kushner, said in his prepared statement, was accidentally submitted early and his foreign contacts omitted.