Jared Kushner complained that he was too busy to alert the authorities to an offer of campaign assistance by the Russian government.
President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Jonathan Swan from Axios, and he bristled when asked about the infamous June 8, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower set up by Donald Trump Jr. with a Russian lawyer offering damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
"Jonathan, we're in a place now where people are playing Monday morning quarterback, and they're being so self-righteous," Kushner said.
"Let me put you in my shoes at that time," he continued. "Okay, I'm running three companies, I'm helping run the campaign. I get an email that says show up at 4 instead of 3 to a meeting that I had been told about earlier that I didn't know what the hell it was about."
"I show up for the meeting, I stay for 15 minutes, it was a clown show," Kushner added. "I text my assistant and say, 'Can you give me a call and get me the hell out of here, this is a waste of time.'"
Kushner said he would not even have remembered the meeting if it hadn't become a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which examined the meeting itself and efforts by the president to craft a misleading statement about what was discussed there.
"Had there been something that actually was nefarious at that meeting that came up, maybe we would have done something different," he said.
Swan asked whether seeing an email with a subject line explicitly laying out an offer by Russia for campaign assistance should have set off any alarm bells, and he asked Kushner whether he would call the FBI if something similar happened again.
"I don't know," Kushner said. "It's hard to do hypotheticals, but the reality is is that we were not given anything that was salacious."