During the 2016 US presidential election campaign, Donald Trump had boasted that he would surround himself with the most brilliant minds the world had to offer.
In an interview with the ever-friendly Fox News, candidate Trump said, "I would use the greatest minds. I know the best negotiators. I know the ones that are no good that people think are good. I know people that you've never heard of that are better than all of them."
Apparently, the "best minds" included 36-year-old real estate shark Jared Kushner, who was hired as 'Senior Advisor to the President'.
So what are Kushner's qualifications? Well, he paid a record $1.8 billion for a building in New York City — the highest in the history of the Big Apple — right before the 2008 economic crash. Ouch.
He also thought it was a good idea to buy the
illustrious New York Post. But perhaps most importantly, Kushner married the president's favourite daughter Ivanka. Sorry, Tiffany.
It's a good thing that he has such bulletproof credentials. After all, Kushner has a lot on his plate: Solving America's drug crisis, bringing peace to West Asia, running the Office of American Innovation, sorting out the quagmire that is Iraq, spearheading criminal justice reform. Some have even called him the Shadow Secretary of State and the Secretary of Everything.
And if that wasn't enough, Kushner has now been entangled in the ever-expanding Russia probe. On Monday, Kushner admitted he had contacts with Russian officials but denied that he colluded with them to help his father-in-law win the election.
Releasing a statement just hours ahead of appearing before a Senate intelligence committee, Kushner said he had dealt with Russian officials, including Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, in his capacity as Trump campaign's liaison with foreign governments.
"I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government," Kushner wrote. "I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector," he said.
Kushner may not have known it, but he seemed to echo Bill Clinton's famous statement: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." That didn't end well either.
And here's the icing on the cake. While children are reprimanded by disapproving parents that "ignorance is no defence", one of the most powerful men in the world is relying on just that. According to a report in The Guardian, Kushner told the Senate that he could not possibly have been involved in scheming with the Russian government because he was poorly versed in Russian affairs.
In his 3,700 word statement, Kushner stated — three times — that he could not remember the name of the Russian ambassador and that he had "limited knowledge" of Kislyak, even after Trump started his presidency, The Guardian reported.
Vox reported that Kushner also insisted he was clueless about the infamous meeting Donald Trump Jr had with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, and that he did not read the e-mail sent to him by the former, asking him to attend the meeting. Kushner claimed he missed the beginning of the meeting — where the Russians reportedly offered dirt on Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump Jr — and reached the room only when the ban on US adoptions of Russian children was being discussed, the report further added.
And if Kushner's words don't particularly reassure you that he is adequately prepared for the challenge of solving the world's problems, you won't be reassured by these words from American advertising executive and television personality Donny Deutsch:
"I know Jared Kushner and Ivanka. They lived in my building. They are lovely young people. He has been in his father's real estate business for 10 years. I remember my competency if you have to go and work for my dad for 10 years. Does this person have any qualifications? Lovely guy, I'm sure. Level-headed. Should I be frightened or feel better that Jared Kushner seems to be our de facto chief adviser, secretary of state, on and on and on? Where he's a lovely guy who has worked at a family real estate business for 10 years? Period."
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jul 26, 2017 06:57:41 IST