Publicist who set up Trump Tower meeting insists Jared Kushner was present for full meeting

In an interview Tuesday on Morning Joe, publicist Rob Goldstone contradicted statements from Jared Kushner that he left the Trump Tower meeting early, saying that everyone left the room together. This is consistent with Goldstone’s earlier testimony. Goldstone also indicated that it wasn’t his emails that got Donald Trump Jr. to set up the meeting, but whatever Russian billionaire Emin Agalarov said on the phone when they spoke.

In general, there were no “bombshells” to be taken from Goldstone’s appearance. His statements on Morning Joe only elaborated on testimony he had already given, and he didn’t contradict the idea that the meeting was rather a rambling gathering that didn’t produce a lot of obvious enthusiasm on either side. According to Goldstone, he appealed to Donald Trump Jr. as “almost the lower rung on the totem pole” and used his emails to primarily talk with Agalarov. However, Goldstone recalls Kushner asking Russian Attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya to “refocus” after he appeared to have lost the thread of the discussion, and Kushner being upset when Veselnitskaya seemed to simply repeat previous statements. At the end of the meeting, everyone left together.

This his original security form, his second security form, and on documents provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Kushner failed to mention being present at the Trump Tower meeting. In other testimony, both Kushner and Veselnitskaya have maintained that Kushner arrived at the meeting late and left before it was over. 

In testimony, Kushner’s statements matched those of Veselnitskaya—he said he arrived at the meeting after it started and left after only a few minutes. Trump Jr. has also stated that Kushner left early.

Question: So, returning to the meeting, what did Mr. Kushner do during the meeting? Did he ask any questions or make any comments?

Trump Jr: None that I recall. He showed up a few minutes late and left a few minutes early to take a phone call.

But Goldstone remembers Kushner being present for the full meeting, and asking a question. It’s not a huge discrepancy … but it is interesting. Because a lot of people seem to be insistent on having Jared Kushner outside the room for part of the conversation.

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