World

Trump's son-in-law denies collusion with Russia

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said yesterday that he "did not collude" with Russia and had roughly four meetings with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign and presidential transition.

In a written statement released ahead of his appearance before lawmakers in closed-door sessions, Mr Kushner said his initial security clearance form had been submitted prematurely in error and had omitted all foreign contacts.

"I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government," Mr Kushner said.

"I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector," he said.

Mr Kushner faces two days of closed-door questioning from Congress this week as lawmakers try to determine whether Trump's campaign enlisted Russia's help to win the White House in last year's election.

He is expected to face questions about his contacts with Russian citizens and officials when he testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee today and the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee tomorrow.

Mr Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., released e-mails this month that showed he appeared to welcome the prospect of damaging information from the Russian government about Mr Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Members of both committees say they are eager to hear about the June 2016 meeting.

Mr Trump's son, Mr Kushner and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort all participated in the meeting.

Mr Kushner described the meeting as a waste of time.

"I actually e-mailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for 10 or so minutes and wrote: 'Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting'."

Early yesterday morning, Mr Trump lashed out at the ongoing investigation.

Without giving proof, he said no evidence had been found regarding Russia.

"Drain the Swamp should be changed to Drain the Sewer - it's actually much worse than anyone ever thought, and it begins with the Fake News!" he tweeted.- REUTERS

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