5 Things Jared Kushner Told Congressional Interns in Leaked Speech - NBC10 Boston

5 Things Jared Kushner Told Congressional Interns in Leaked Speech

Kushner spoke about collusion and his role as the White House's envoy to the Middle East

Find NBC Boston in your area

Channel 10 on most providers

Channel 15, 60 and 8 Over the Air



    Testy Exchange About Kushner's 'Back Channel' With Russia

    During a hearing Tuesday, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) got into a bit of a testy exchange with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly over the appropriateness of Jared Kushner allegedly trying to set up a back channel of communications between the U.S. and Russia. (Published Tuesday, June 6, 2017)

    In a speech Monday, which was later leaked to the press, Jared Kushner boasted that details of his Middle East negotiations have not been leaked to the press.

    An audio recording of President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser giving the off-the-record talk to congressional interns was obtained and published by Wired magazine Tuesday.

    Besides addressing his role as the White House's envoy to the Middle East, Kushner also joked about collusion and discussed serving as publisher of the New York Observer.

    NBC News verified the transcript, originally obtained by Wired, and reached out to Kushner's representatives for comment.

    Here are some highlights from the recording:

    Kushner, who was tapped by Trump to broker peace in the Middle East, visited the region in June to meet separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

    "Nothing’s leaked out, right?" Kushner said about the talks. "Nothing has leaked out, which I think gives the parties more trust and more ability to really express and share their viewpoints."

    Netanyahu is a family friend of Kushner's and someone he has known since childhood.

    He added that the lack of leaks can only help him in negotiations, which he has also conducted with Jason Greenblatt, a special representative for international negotiations.

    "I think you need to be able to probe people in private for them to have confidence that it’s not going to be used against them and that it’s not going to leak out in the press, which would be very, very hurtful," he said. "But I think we were able to keep things quiet."

    Kushner Denies Collusion With Russia

    [NATL] Kushner Denies Collusion With Russia

    Jared Kushner denies that he had any ties to Russia during President Trump's election campaign.

    (Published Monday, July 24, 2017)

    Kushner told the interns he isn't sure what's unique about his approach to the challenge of brokering a peace deal in the Middle East, and he isn't sure if the problem has a solution.

    "I’m sure everyone that’s tried this has been unique in some ways," Kushner said. "So, what do we offer that’s unique? I don’t know."

    Later, he added: "There may be no solution, but it’s one of the problem sets that the president asked us to focus on."

    He also emphasized that he would rather focus on trying to understand the decades-long relationship between the two sides.

    "Everyone finds an issue, that 'you have to understand what they did then' and 'you have to understand that they did this,'" Kushner told interns. "But how does that help us get peace? Let's not focus on that. We don’t want a history lesson. We’ve read enough books. Let’s focus on, 'how do you come up with a conclusion to the situation?'"

    Kushner told interns that the Trump campaign was too disorganized to have colluded with Russia during the election.

    Hong Kong Leader Says No Compromise as Violence Escalates

    [NATL] Hong Kong Leader Says No Compromise as Protest Violence Escalates

    Hong Kong’s government is refusing to compromise after one pro-democracy protester was shot and another set on fire in a rare weekday protest. The five-month protest has seen a steady rise in violence, with both pro-democracy protesters and the Hong Kong government refusing to give ground.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 11, 2019)

    "They thought we colluded, but we couldn’t even collude with our local offices," he joked.

    Kushner has come under fire for four meetings with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign and transition, though he maintains that he discussed nothing improper in those meetings -- and that no one in the campaign colluded.

    During a question-and-answer session, one intern asked about an investigation into the campaign's potential ties to Russia and questions about Kushner's security clearance. In response, Kushner said, "we don't know where it's going."

    In Kushner's SF-86 form, which is required to apply for security clearance, he initially did not report contact with some foreign nationals -- including a now-infamous meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and an attorney tied to the Kremlin.

    "There are 127 pages on the SF-86, but there are only two you guys have to worry about," he said about the form. "Make sure you guys keep track of where you travel."

    Kushner, who worked primarily as a real estate developer, bought the New York Observer, a newspaper focused on New York City real estate and society, for $10 million when he was 25. He became CEO of Kushner Companies two years later.

    First Transcripts in Impeachment Inquiry Released

    [NATL] Impeachment Inquiry: Yovanovitch, McKingly Transcripts Released

    House Democrats on Monday released the written record of testimony from two witnesses who say they were caught up in the Trump administration's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the president's political rivals. Those witnesses: former top State Department official Michael McKinley and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. NBC's Alice Barr reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019)

    "We had a family situation where I needed to come to my companies -- my family business -- much earlier than I thought," he said. "Along the way, I did a lot of dumb things. I bought a newspaper, which was … very interesting."

    He left his position as the newspaper's publisher in January for his role at the White House, selling his stake in the paper to a Kushner family trust.

    "I’m a lot more comfortable talking to you guys today ’cause there isn't any press," Kushner said.

    But the speech made it to the press anyway, despite a warning from Katie Patru, deputy staff director for member services, outreach and communications.

    "To record today’s session would be such a breach of trust, from my opinion," she told interns before Kushner's speech. "If someone in your office has asked you to break our protocol and give you a recording so they can leak it, as a manager, that bothers me at my core."