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New York - April 23, 2019
1. SOUNDBITE (English) Jared Kushner, Senior White House Adviser
"But again, you know, it's a meeting that had never come up and had never been done, I wouldn't have thought about it again. But now the media spent so much time focusing on it and, quite frankly, the whole thing is just a big 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, but I think the investigations and all of 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. I spent about -- I think they said they spend about one hundred and sixty thousand, I spent a hundred sixty thousand else on Facebook every three hours during the campaign. So, if you look at the magnitude of what they did and what they accomplished, I think the ensuing investigations have been way more harmful to our country."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Jared Kushner, Senior White House Adviser
HOST: "One of the biggest things I think it doesn't sit well with the public is why didn't the campaign, the Trump campaign, openly say 'Russia we don't need your help. We don't want your help. Please stop?'"
KUSHNER: "First of all, in the campaign, we didn't know that Russia was doing what they were doing. If I asked -- again you can look at it Monday morning quarterback and say 'maybe you should have looked at those times.' But I personally think that what happened was is all these people thought Trump was going to lose. They all predicted Trump was going to lose. They were wrong. The American electorate in this great democratic system chose the opposite. And then I think that instead of saying 'oh wait we got it wrong,' they said 'well maybe it was Russia.' And I think now we spent two years going through that nonsense and, you know, the one thing the Mueller report was very conclusive on is there was absolutely no coordination or collusion with the Trump campaign and everything that the president's been saying, everything that I've been saying for two years has now been fully authenticated."
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said Tuesday the investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election "had a much harder impact on our democracy" than what Russia actually did.
Mere days after Americans read a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the election meddling, Kushner minimized Russia's involvement by describing it as "buying some Facebook ads to try to sow dissent."
"Quite frankly, the whole thing's just a big distraction for the country," Kushner, the president's son-in-law, said in a rare public appearance at the Time 100 Summit.
Kushner continued: "It's a terrible thing, but I think the investigations and all the speculation that happened for the past two years has had a much harsher impact on democracy than a couple Facebook ads."
Mueller's report concluded that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election "in sweeping and systematic fashion" and that its efforts were designed to help Trump.
Kushner, in his first comments since the redacted version was released last week, said the Trump campaign spent far more on Facebook ads in a matter of hours than the Russians did over the course of the election.
"So if you look at the magnitude of what they did and what they accomplished, I think the ensuing investigations have been way more harmful to our country," said Kushner, who helped lead his father-in-law's upstart campaign.
Kushner was present in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and campaign chairman Paul Manafort when a Kremlin-connected lawyer offered dirt on rival Hilary Clinton's campaign. But Kushner said he texted an aide to get him out of the meeting because he found it unhelpful.
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Political conventions , 2016 United States presidential election , United States presidential election , Social media , Online media , Media , Marketing campaigns , Marketing and advertising , Corporate news , Business , Campaign spending , Campaign finance , Campaigns , Elections , Government and politics , Presidential elections , National elections
Paul Manafort , Hillary Clinton , Robert Mueller , Jared Kushner , Donald Trump, Jr.