Everyone Else Felt Just As Uncomfortable As You Watching That Kushner Interview

Jared Kushner Axios interview

White House senior adviser and President Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner gave a wild and revealing interview to Axios that aired Sunday on HBO. During the back and forth, Kushner revealed, among a plethora of other things, that he’s given the Saudi government a pass for the murder of a Washington Post journalist and that he might not call the FBI if Russia requested another meeting.

The interview shocked the most liberal corners of the internet, with many questioning how and why the White House had allowed Kushner to speak, both in general and to a reporter.

Kushner’s refusal to say whether he would call the FBI if he were contacted again by Russians wanting to share dirt on a political opponent and his refusal to say whether Trump’s birther crusade was racist were among the most egregious comments for Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), who used the video to point out why “nepotism is a really bad idea.”

Former head of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub — who’s been a visible nemesis of Trump’s since he left the office over the President’s behavior — called the interview “amazingly bad,” adding that it further illustrates Kushner’s unfitness for a high level government position.

The criticism was predictably partisan. A former Democratic National Committee official issued a dire warning about Kushner’s relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the kingdom’s actions in recent months, including the murder of Jamal Khashoggi: “The U.S. has been compromised,” Adam Parkhomenko said.

Philippe Reines, a former spokesman for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, acknowledged the partisan reactions to the interview with a tongue-in-cheek tweet: “Americans overwhelmingly agree Jared Kushner must never again speak aloud.”

Others took on a more serious tone. Journalist and author Justin Hendrix told Democrats to use the interview as further fodder for impeachment, referencing Kushner’s refusal to say if he’d call the FBI if contacted by Russians.

Members of the media offered their own two cents about the interview, disapproval that was primarily centered on Kushner’s inability to answer questions in a straightforward fashion.

Author Vicky Ward, who just published a telling book on Kushner’s rise to political prominence from the real estate world, complimented Axios’ Jonathan Swan’s skills as an interviewer, calling the one-on-one a “masterclass in journalism.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: