Published On: Mon, Jul 24th, 2017

Trump son-in-law denies colluding with Russia

Washington: Jared Kushner, the senior adviser and son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, has, in a statement sent to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and published by local media, denied having colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

He said they “shook hands, exchanged brief pleasantries” and “each exchange lasted less than a minute”

“I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,” Kushner said in a written statement issued hours before testifying behind closed doors to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his contacts with Russia during the 2016 electoral campaign, Efe news reported.

“I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector. I have tried to be fully transparent,” Kushner said in the 11-page statement.

Kushner said he had no inappropriate contacts with anyone who had been or was at that time a representative of the Russian government.

In his testimony, Kushner mentions a meeting unknown up to now with the Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergei Kislyak, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

According to Kushner, he met Kislyak and three other ambassadors a few months before Trump was designated the Republican candidate for President.

He said they “shook hands, exchanged brief pleasantries” and “each exchange lasted less than a minute”.

Recently Trump’s son-in-law has been at the centre of a controversy for a meeting with a Russian lawyer who was expected to provide damaging information against then-Democratic candidate and Trump rival Hillary Clinton.

But Kushner said the meeting “was a waste of our time”.

Kushner will be questioned on Monday by the Senate Intelligence Committee and on Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee, both currently investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and the possible collusion of members of the Trump campaign with the Kremlin.

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