Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner watch as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 17, 2017.
JIM BOURG

In Russia scandal, Kushner finds himself in an awkward spot

To paraphrase a Simon Maloy joke, if I had a dime for every time Jared Kushner failed to disclose pertinent information, Republicans would try to give me a tax cut.

Vox had a good piece along these lines yesterday, rounding up every instance in which Donald Trump’s powerful son-in-law kept hidden information he was supposed to share. The piece explained, “Jared Kushner insists he’s got nothing to hide when it comes to Russia. Yet he keeps failing to disclose things that raise real questions about whether he tried to collude with Moscow during the campaign – and whether he’s been trying to cover it up ever since.”

The Rachel Maddow Show, 11/20/17, 9:07 PM ET

Kushner's Trump Russia hole deepens, Hicks to testify soon

Rachel Maddow reports on the latest developments in the Trump Russia investigation, including Jared Kushner extending his string of being caught not being honest with investigators, and expectations that Trump assistant Hope Hicks may testify as early as
As Rachel noted on last night’s show, this NBC News report from the weekend is of particular importance.

One source familiar with Kushner’s testimony before congressional intelligence committees said he specifically denied, under oath, that he was familiar with any attempts by WikiLeaks to contact the campaign.

But, according to the source, Kushner was sent an email by Trump Jr. about his conversations on Twitter with WikiLeaks, which were first disclosed by the Atlantic this week. Kushner forwarded an email about the WikiLeaks conversations to communications director Hope Hicks, the source said. A second source familiar with Kushner’s testimony did not dispute that account.

Well, that makes it sound as if Kushner wasn’t exactly forthcoming during sworn testimony to Congress.

And while we’re on the subject, Trump’s son-in-law also reportedly failed to let officials know about yet another overture to the Trump campaign by another Russian. New York magazine reported over the weekend that Kushner is either “trying to hide something, or his memory is very poor for a 36-year-old.”

On Friday, the New York Times and NBC News reported that the “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” Kushner failed to disclose to Senate investigators involved a banker with close ties to Vladimir Putin – and possibly organized crime.

The man at the center of the story is Aleksander Torshin, who is the deputy head of Russia’s central bank, a major Trump fan, and a stalwart ally of Vladimir Putin. He has also been accused by Spanish police of being a mafia “godfather,” which he denies, as one would.

As Rachel added last night, without any exaggeration, it now appears Kushner “had more contact with more different Russians during the campaign and the transition than any other senior member of the Trump campaign that we yet know about.” And when it came time to disclose those contacts, Kushner has been far from forthcoming – at least initially, before he started revising his disclosure documents.

What Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team think about all of this is unclear, but it’s probably fair to say the president’s son-in-law, whose security clearance has been under review for nearly a year, isn’t in an ideal position.

Russia, Scandals and White House

In Russia scandal, Kushner finds himself in an awkward spot