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Kushner Says Mueller Probe Damaged U.S. Democracy More Than Russia Did

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 4/23/2019 Justin Sink

Video by Time

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, said Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was more damaging to U.S. democracy than Russia’s efforts to sow discord and interfere in the 2016 election.

Mueller’s investigation has had a “much harsher impact” on the U.S. than “a couple Facebook ads,” Kushner said Tuesday in New York at an event sponsored by Time.

“The whole thing’s just a big distraction for the country,” he added.

Kushner’s portrayal of Russia’s interference — they “tried to buy some Facebook ads to sow discontent” — contrasts with the sophisticated, multi-pronged campaign by the Russian government exposed by Mueller in his 448-page report released last week. The special counsel detailed how Russia tried to establish contacts with multiple officials working on Trump’s campaign who, in turn, appeared eager to accept the assistance.

Although the investigation didn’t establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government, Mueller "identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign," according to his report.

"The investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts," the report said.

At the Time event, Kushner described Russian interference as a "terrible thing."

With assistance from Chris Strohm

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