White House senior adviser Jared Kushner's question and answer session on Monday with congressional interns, which was part of an ongoing, off-the-record summer lecture series, was leaked to Wired magazine.
Before Kushner spoke with the interns, Katie Patru, the deputy staff director of member services, outreach, and communications at the House Administration Committee, told the group not to record the off-the-record session because it would be a "breach of trust," according to Wired.
"This town is full of leakers and everyone knows who they are, and no one trusts them. In this business your reputation is everything," Patru said. "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," she added. "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."
The Q&A focused on several issues, but one of the questions that prompted one of Kushner's longest responses revolved around his plans to negotiate a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. Kushner, who is President Donald Trump's son-in-law, said he has learned that "not a whole lot has been accomplished over the last 40 or 50 years," Wired reported. He added hat a lot of people he has spoken to have told him that the peace negotiations are a "very emotionally charged situation."
He went on to lecture those who try to give him a history lesson about the issue and said that he does not need to be taught about the "delicate situation."
"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 said, going on to lament the press's treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Kushner concluded his Q&A with the interns by trying to offer some reassurance about the Trump administration and finding solutions for some of the conflicts that face the United States.
"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," Kushner said. "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."