Faking an emergency phone call to get out of an unpleasant situation is so overused it has become a cliche. But apparently not even the family of the president is above doing it.
In an 11-page document to the Associated Press, Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, denied any collusion with Russia. Kushner was one of several people who during the campaign met with a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information from the Russian government on Hillary Clinton, according to emails released by Donald Trump Jr.
Kushner is supposed to give his statement in a closed-door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday.
Those involved said the meeting actually focused on the topic of Russian adoption and no information on Clinton was disclosed. Rob Goldstone, who helped organize the meeting, described it as “inane nonsense.”
Kushner took that a step further in his statement Monday, not only saying the meeting was a “waste of our time,” but also that he emailed his assistant during the meeting to help him get out of it.
“Reviewing emails recently confirmed my memory that the meeting was a waste of our time and that, in looking for a polite way to leave and get back to my work, I actually emailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for 10 or so minutes and wrote, ‘Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting,’” Kushner said.
Kushner did not say if the aide actually did call him in the document.
The revelation – one of a few in the document – had some people wondering how Kushner would handle brokering peace in the Middle East – one of his many jobs in the Trump administration – if he couldn’t simply excuse himself from a meeting.
Many others were skeptical of Kushner’s implication that he had not known what the meeting was supposed to be about prior to attending it.
“That email was on top of a long back and forth that I did not read at the time. As I did with most emails when I was working remotely, I quickly reviewed on my iPhone the relevant message that the meeting would occur at 4:00 PM at his office,” Kushner wrote. “Documents confirm my memory that this was calendared as ‘Meeting: Don Jr. | Jared Kushner.’ No one else was mentioned.”
Some people on Twitter were quick to point out that Kushner wouldn’t have needed to read the full email chain, as the subject line was: “FW: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential.”