George W. Bush-era White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter on Monday smacked down Donald Trump booster Kayleigh McEnany over her defense of the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Kushner Companies—which Kushner headed before sidelining his real estate ambitions to focus on ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—touted access to Trump at an investor pitch meeting in Beijing on Saturday, a move Painter said “came very close to solicitation of a bribe.”
“The implication was very clear,” Painter said of Kushner’s sister Nicole Kushner Meyer invoking access to Trump during the event.
McEnany argued the optics of the event were the fault of an event organizer, prompting Painter to call BS on her claim. Painter explained Meyer “unnecessarily” name-dropped Kushner who is a United States government official.
“And then they show a picture of the president of the United States, and blame that on the event organizer … this is absolutely ridiculous,” Painter said.
“It’s unacceptable,” he added.
McEnany said the use of Trump’s picture was just to “illustrate the pathway” to obtain a U.S. visa, and noted “in the future” Meyer promises not to tout access to the Trump administration in her sales pitches.
Painter pointed out that “no one would have even known that this happened” where it not for the fact that some journalists happened to be there. The entire event, he argued, came “very close to violating the bribery statutes.”
“It was an unacceptable presentation, and to blame it on the event organizer is a joke,” Painter said.
“That’s just rubbish!” he added.
Watch the video below, via CNN: