Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey explained Friday that there was no need for President Donald Trump’s top aide Jared Kushner to set up a secret back-channel with Russia.
“Can you come up with any good reason why the top advisor to the president-elect, his son-in-law would want or need,” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Mukasey.
“Well, it’s unfortunate that you modify your question with ‘any good reason,'” he said. “It’s tough to come up with a good reason. I think that Phil Mudd is on to something, and he used to brief me every morning. He points out the atmosphere at the time. As candidate Trump was saying at the time, they wanted to have closer ties with the Russians. Whether that was wise or unwise, a lot of people thought it was unwise — and I was one of them, and Phil was another one — that was what they wanted. And they believed that they couldn’t trust the intel community, and it may very well be that somebody without a great deal of experience in government, remember that Jared Kushner is, what? In his 30s? He might have thought that was a good idea.”
Blitzer brought up retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn who previously served in the capacity that he should have been able to make judgment calls in American interests.
Mukasey was quick to note that this conversation could have been in the absence of Flynn.
“Michael Flynn is the subject of a criminal investigation,” he continued. “Jared Kushner, they wanted to be questioned in connection with a counterintelligence investigation that is focused not on him, but on what the Russians were doing at the time during the election. So, these are two really separate matters.”
Former CIA agent Phil Mudd agreed with Mukasey making an earlier point that there was “no reason” to set up such communication.