Watch Kushner’s Cringey Deflections When Repeatedly Asked If Birtherism Is Racist

Jared Kushner

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner sat for a palpably uncomfortable exchange with Axios‘ Jonathan Swan — which aired on HBO Sunday —  and was asked to answer for one of President Trump’s most condemned crusades: birtherism.

Kushner initially places the blame on Democrats when asked about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s stance that Trump is a racist.

“You can’t not be a racist for 69 years, then run for president and be a racist,” he said. “And what I’ll say is that when a lot of the Democrats call the President a racist, I think they’re doing a disservice to people who suffer because of real racism in this country.”

Swan then asked Kushner whether birtherism — Trump’s very public offensive against President Barack Obama’s citizenship — was racist.

“Um, look, I wasn’t really involved in that,” Kushner said.

“I know you weren’t. Was it racist?” Swan pressed.

“Like I said, I wasn’t involved in that,” he said. Swan asked again: “I know you weren’t. Was it racist?”

“Look, I know who the President is and I have not seen anything in him that is racist, so again I was not involved in that,” he said. Kushner gave the same “I was not involved in that” retort when asked whether he wished Trump “didn’t do that.”

“That was a long time ago,” Kushner said.

Watch the exchange below:

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