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Politico: Jared Kushner Rebuffed on Stronger WH Response on Trump Jr.

Image: Politico: Jared Kushner Rebuffed on Stronger WH Response on Trump Jr.
White House senior counselor Jared Kushner (AP Photo/Rex Features)

By    |   Thursday, 13 Jul 2017 11:03 PM

Jared Kushner has pushed the White House for a stronger response to the fallout over the Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting last year with a Russian lawyer, but was rebuffed by top media aides, according to news reports Thursday.

"Jared didn't like the idea, he wanted people to get aggressive," an outside Trump administration adviser told Politico.

The adviser was referring to a meeting Kushner, the president's son-in-law and a senior adviser, had with White House spokesman Sean Spicer and deputy Sarah Huckabee Sanders Tuesday after Trump Jr. released emails about the meeting.

Spicer and Sanders urged a longer-term approach, the adviser told Politico.

"Jared's the guy who is rushing the front lines, and other people are saying, 'See, wait, hold, and let's get a battle strategy.'

"Jared wanted to get surrogates, he wanted an op-ed in The [Wall Street] Journal and The [New York] Times," the adviser added, "and we said: 'Wait, we have to talk through how that will play out. Who is going to say it, who is going to put their name on the op-ed and what baggage do they have?'"

Because Trump Jr. is not in the administration, some White House aides have contended the matter rested with outside legal counsel, Politico reported, but Kushner argued "if the story affects the president, it's a White House issue."

Politico said its report was based on "six sources familiar with the matter," including "four White House officials and two outside advisers."

Administration officials, however, disputed such a meeting.

"These conversations simply did not happen, and Jared did not raise a single one of these points besides saying thank you to everyone for their continued hard work," the White House told Politico in a statement.

The comment was attributed to Spicer, Sanders, spokesman Josh Raffel, and other White House aides including Raj Shah, Jessica Ditto, and Lindsay Walters.

Kushner and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort sat in on the June 9, 2016, meeting arranged by Trump Jr. with the Russian lawyer under the guise of obtaining damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump Jr. released the emails ahead of a report in The New York Times saying the Kremlin backed his father's presidential campaign over Clinton's.

He told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Tuesday that in "retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently."

On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus slammed the meeting as a "nothing burger" – and senior adviser Kellyanne Conway went on the morning talk shows Monday to forcefully deny any collusion with Moscow.

In addition, White House deputy adviser Sebastian Gorka has also been sparring with cable TV hosts this week over the meeting, slamming the reports as "fake news."

And on Thursday, President Trump defended his eldest son.

"As far as my son is concerned, my son is a wonderful young man," Trump said at a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

"He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer," he added. "Not a government lawyer, but a Russian lawyer.

"It was a short meeting.

"From a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting," Trump said.

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Jared Kushner has pushed the White House for a stronger response to the fallout over the Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting last year with a Russian lawyer, but was rebuffed by top media aides, according to news reports Thursday.
emails, collusion, media, White House, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr.
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2017-03-13
Thursday, 13 Jul 2017 11:03 PM
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