Say this for Donald Trump’s defenders: they can bring the humor, albeit unintentionally.
That was what David Urban, a former Trump campaign advisor, did on Tuesday’s edition of The Lead with Jake Tapper while trying to defend Jared Kushner’s comments earlier in the day dismissing Russian interference in 2016 as “a couple of Facebook ads” that had no bearing on the outcome of the election.
After watching a clip of Kushner’s comments, guest host Brianna Keilar noted that Russian-generated content on Facebook is believed to have reached 126 million people on Facebook and was shared by Trump and his top surrogates. She then asked Mehdi Hasan of The Intercept, “Does he get it?”
Hasan responded that “downplaying the involvement” of Russia of course helps Kushner and his father-in-law. But more than that, it “legitimizes a Russia propaganda campaign” that the country didn’t actually meddle in the election. He also noted that the Mueller report concluded there was a widespread effort by Russia to influence the campaign, but that while Trump has attacked many people and organizations for talking about the report, the president has yet to condemn Russia. “Weird, that,” he finished drily.
Urban then said that he had not heard Kushner’s exact quote, so Keilar repeated that the president’s son-in-law had brushed off the attack as just being a couple of Facebook ads and that “the investigation was worse for the country.”
Hearing that, Urban responded, “I don’t think he’s downplaying what the Russians did. I don’t think he said it didn’t have any impact. I didn’t hear Jared say that.”
Actually, downplaying what the Russians did is exactly what Kushner was doing, and one need only take five minutes to watch the relevant videos to see that.
Urban’s comments caused Hassan to laugh and shake his head.
Urban then tried to expand on his defense, saying that he thought Kushner was trying to say Russia had been more successful at “sowing discord” and “making Americans doubt democracy because of the ongoing investigation.” Which is a roundabout way of not holding Trump and his team responsible for the divisive pushback they have engaged in throughout the Mueller investigation. To say nothing of the attempted obstruction of the investigation that was thoroughly documented in the Mueller report.
After that, the panel devolved into everyone talking over each other as they argued about whether Trump’s behavior over the investigation was more egregious than anyone else’s, with the liberals saying yes and the conservatives not acknowledging the question of whether the nation’s president should be held to a higher standard.
Watch the segment up top, via CNN.