As Jared Kushner enters the Russia spotlight, Donald Trump may be distancing himself

Donald Trump's lawyers may want to distance the president from his own son-in-law

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 13, 2017 8:43AM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

A new report indicates that President Donald Trump's lawyers want to create distance between himself and his own son-in-law, senior adviser Jared Kushner.

Trump's legal team is insisting that the president should not discuss the Russia investigation with Kushner, according to Axios. The concern is that, because Kushner has had at least three conversations with individuals associated with the Russian government that the special counsel will likely want to investigate, Trump puts himself in a compromising position when he talks about Russia with Kushner.

Kushner has been facing a lot of heat in recent days. Sen. Chris Murphy has called for his resignation. "You don’t think the Republicans would be calling for the resignation of an Obama official who allowed the president and vice president to openly lie about a major national security issue?" the Connecticut Democrat said. "He watched his father-in-law on TV say no one in [the Trump] campaign talked to the Russian government."

Federal investigators are also looking into the digital component of Trump's campaign, according to The Washington Post. In particular, they are looking into whether Russian operatives knew which demographics to target with fake news stories because of information gleaned by the Trump campaign's digital operation. That operation was overseen by Kushner, which means the investigation would almost certainly extend to his own activities as well.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California has said that he wants to know whether the Trump campaign helped Russia time its cyberattacks as well as figure out which voters to target and how, arguing that the House Intelligence Committee should know about "any exchange of information, any financial support funneled to organizations that were doing this kind of work."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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