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Kushner says Schumer told family friends he was going to jail

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Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and ex-adviser to former President Trump, said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) told his mother’s friends he was going to jail for his involvement in the 2016 election and alleged ties with Russia.

“My poor mom, I told her to stop, you know reading whatever, I said, ‘I promise you, we didn’t do anything wrong, it’s good,’” Kushner said on the Lex Fridman Podcast. “But you know, she’d call me say, well you know, ‘our friends were on the Upper East Side were talking with Chuck Schumer who says Jared’s going to jail.’”

Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, has pushed back on reports that he sought to establish a “back-channel” line of communication between Russia and the Trump campaign ahead of the 2016 election.

Kushner attended a now-infamous meeting between Donald Trump Jr., former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a woman described as a Russian government lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

While the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller found “sweeping and systematic” Russian interference in the 2016 election, it did not find evidence that anyone on Trump’s campaign was complicity in those efforts.

Kushner also met with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, in December, shortly after Trump won the 2016 election, along with Michael Flynn, who would become Trump’s first national security adviser. Kushner and Kislyak reportedly discussed a secure communications line between the Trump transition team the the Kremlin.

Kushner said on the podcast that he didn’t take the allegations “too seriously” at first, because he felt there were “no underlying problems to the accusation.”

“I felt like this is one of those things where they’re going to try and catch you and then if you step on the line, they catch with one misrepresentation, they’re gonnna try to put you in jail or worse … and so, for me, that was a big concern,” Kushner said.

Kushner was part of investigations by the Senate intelligence and judiciary committees into questions around the Trump campaigns links with Russia.

He said he probably spent more than 20 hours testifying before different committees and spent millions of dollars “out of my own pocket” on legal fees.

“This is like a leading senator saying these things and so it was just interesting for me to see how the whole world could believe something and be talking about it that I knew with 1,000 percent certainty was just not true,” Kushner said of Schumer. “And so seeing that play out was very, very hard.”

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