Fox News anchor Shepard Smith ripped into White House senior adviser Jared Kushner on Tuesday for downplaying Russian election interference, calling it “disingenuous” and “deceptive” for Kushner to refer to it as “a few Facebook ads.”
“Jared Kushner’s diminishment of Russian interference is both disingenuous and deceptive,” Smith told Fox News viewers. “The attack on our democracy involved much more than the purchase of a few Facebook ads.”
“From the Mueller report we now know Russians made contact with multiple members of the Trump campaign, including Jared Kushner, attempting to change American policies and promote Russian objectives,” Smith continued, before listing the many details included in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation into Russian election interference and President Trump.
Smith pointed to Russians conducting cyber espionage in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election and that a lawyer connected to the Kremlin promised Trump campaign associates “dirt” on former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“They invaded our nation, in both the cyber and physical worlds,” Smith said. “The U.S. indicted 26 Russian nationals and three Russian companies and the Mueller report makes crystal clear, and U.S. intelligence agencies concur, the Russians still are trying to damage our nation, interfere in our affairs, and influence our elections.”
Smith’s criticisms came just hours after Kushner claimed that the investigations into Russia were more harmful to the U.S. than the Kremlin’s efforts to interfere in its elections.
“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,” Kushner said at Time magazine’s Time 100 Summit. “But I think the investigations and all 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.”
Smith disagreed with Kushner’s characterization.
“Mueller wrote while there’s evidence of communications with the Trump campaign and Moscow, there was no coordination,” Smith concluded, adding that Mueller’s team interviewed Kushner about his contacts with Russians. “But on the matter of Russian interference, the Facebook ads Jared Kushner references were but a sliver of Russia’s attack on America.”