Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Kushner: "We don’t want a history lesson. We’ve read enough books".

From Wired:

ON MONDAY, WHITE House senior advisor Jared Kushner spoke to a group of congressional interns as part of an ongoing, off-the-record summer lecture series. During the question-and-answer portion of the event, Kushner may have inadvertently offered some insight into the negotiating tactics he is using in the Middle East.

Prior to Kushner's talk, Katie Patru, the deputy staff director for Member Services, Outreach & Communications, told the assembled interns, "To record today’s session would be such a breach of trust, from my opinion. This town is full of leakers and everyone knows who they are, and no one trusts them. In this business your reputation is everything, I’ve been on the hill for 15 years. I’ve sat in countless meetings with members of congress where important decisions were being made. During all those years in all those meetings, I never once leaked to a reporter. …. If someone in your office has asked you to break our protocol and give you a recording so they can leak it, as a manager, that bothers me at my core."

WIRED has obtained a recording of Kushner's talk, which lasted for just under an hour in total...

[The] most rambling answer during yesterday's question-and-answer session:

While the recording doesn't catch the entirety of the question, it appears to center on how Kushner plans to negotiate peace between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as why he believes he'll be successful where every other administration has failed. He doesn't directly answer either question, but he does reveal that, from his extensive research, he's learned that "not a whole lot has been accomplished over the last 40 or 50 years." He also notes that he's spoken to "a lot of people," which has taught him that "this is a very emotionally charged situation."

Later in the clip, Kushner expresses frustration at others' attempts to teach him about the delicate situation he's been inserted into, saying, "Everyone finds an issue, that, 'You have to understand what they did then' and 'You have to understand that they did this.' But how does that help us get peace? 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." He then goes on to lament the press's treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a family friend who he's known since Kushner's childhood


  1. Maybe someone can leak his reading list so we can see which books he's read.

  2. This reminds me of when Ron Paul appeared on Bill O'Reilly's show and Dr. Paul tried to tell O'Reilly that he needs to understand the history of the US interfering in Iran and the Middle East. O'Reilly said "We don't have time for a history lesson!"

    1. Well, I was fighting a school bond this year. I pointed to academic studies that show increased spending and lower teacher-pupil ratios don't help improve performance. The answer I got, from a scientist no less: We don't need no stinkin' studies.

      Of course it passed 90/10; I don't vote, though.

      Eric Morris