Kushner Talks Middle East Peace in Leaked Audio: ‘What Do We Offer That’s Unique? I Don’t Know’


Jared Kushner revealed the broad strokes of his plan to bring peace to the Middle East in an off-the-record talk with congressional interns on Capitol Hill — the audio of which was leaked to WIRED.

Ashley Feinberg obtained an audio recording of the White House senior advisor, who detailed — with remarkable equivocation — the Trump administration’s approach to the Middle East during a question and answer session with the interns.

Before Kushner’s talk, a congressional director offered a stern warning to the assembled interns against recording the talk or leaking its content: “To record today’s session would be such a breach of trust, from my opinion,” Katie Patru said. “This town is full of leakers and everyone knows who they are, and no one trusts them.”

That warning was apparently not enough to stop the leaking, as it appears some brave intern recorded the talk and sent it to Feinberg. Contents of the talk were also leaked to Foreign Policy, which reported Monday on Kushner’s comments that the Trump campaign was too much of a mess to collude with Russia.

As Feinberg writes, a question on Middle East peace prompted Kushner, a staunch supporter of Israel, to “to embark on his longest, most rambling answer during yesterday’s question-and-answer session.”

On Israel and Palestine, Kushner said “what I’ve determined from looking at it is that not a whole lot has been accomplished over the last 40 or 50 years we’ve been doing this,” adding “this is a very emotionally charged situation.”

Feinberg notes that Kushner also expressed “frustration at others’ attempts to teach him about the delicate situation he’s been inserted into,” apparently eschewing history lessons.

“But how does that help us get peace?” Kushner asked the interns. “Let’s not focus on that. We don’t want a history lesson. We’ve read enough books. Let’s focus on how do you come up with a conclusion to the situation.”

Kushner concluded by lamenting the role the United States could play in brokering peace:

So, what do we offer that’s unique? I don’t know… I’m sure everyone that’s tried this has been unique in some ways, but again we’re trying to follow very logically. We’re thinking about what the right end state is. And we’re trying to work with the parties very quietly to see if there’s a solution. And there may be no solution, but it’s one of the problem sets that the president asked us to focus on. So we’re going to focus on it and try to come to the right conclusion in the near future.

Listen to the audio above, via WIRED.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor in Chief of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com. Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin