Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, dismissed Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign on Tuesday as a “couple of Facebook ads” and said the investigation of it was far more damaging to the country than the intrusion itself.
“You look at what Russia did — you know, buying some Facebook ads to try to sow dissent and do it — and it’s a terrible thing,” Mr. Kushner said during a panel sponsored by Time magazine. “But I think the investigations, and all of the speculation that’s happened for the last two years, has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple of Facebook ads.”
“Quite frankly, the whole thing is just a big distraction for the country,” Mr. Kushner said in his first public comments since the release of the report of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, last week.
Facebook estimated that Russia-backed ads and social media
posts reached 126 million Americans during the election, only about 10 million fewer than voted in 2016. Moreover, Russians hacked accounts of the Democratic National Committee and leaked damaging information about Mr. Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, at critical moments during the campaign.