GOP Senator: Kushner’s Meeting With Russian Lawyer Was ‘Known’ In April

UNITED STATES - JUNE 7: Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., attends a Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing in Hart Building featuring testimony by intelligence officials on June 7, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQPHO

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Wednesday said federal entities knew about Jared Kushner’s attendance of a June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer as early as April.

“This meeting was known because it was turned in in the background checks in April, actually, for Jared Kushner,” Lankford said on CNN. “So it was a known meeting at that point. Getting the emails and getting the details of that meeting was not known.”

A spokesperson for Lankford told TPM that the senator was referring to the FBI and executive branch entities that processed Kushner’s security clearance, not the Senate Intelligence Committee.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday told Reuters he “didn’t know” about his eldest son Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya “until a couple of days ago.”

Trump Jr. on Tuesday published emails laying out the circumstances of his meeting with Veselnitskaya, which he attended after being promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s campaign. Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort also attended the meeting in June 2016.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly described Lankford’s statement as indicating that the Senate Intelligence Committee knew about Kushner’s attendance of the meeting. We regret the error.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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