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- The digital director of the Trump campaign on Friday painted Jared Kushner and Eric Trump as “joint deputy campaign managers.”
- Brad Parscale’s statement came amid the release of a bombshell book that features the former chief strategist Steve Bannon trashing President Donald Trump’s family members.
- But it could raise new questions about Kushner and Eric Trump for the Russia investigation.
The digital director of the Trump campaign said Friday that the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and son Eric Trump “were joint deputy campaign managers” whose “approval” was required for every decision before the 2016 election.
“Nobody else. Not one person made a decision without their approval,” the digital director, Brad Parscale, tweeted. “Others just took credit for this family’s amazing ability. I’m done with all these lies. They will be embarrassed!”
Kushner was Parscale’s “patron,” according to a person familiar with the campaign’s inner workings, which could explain their closeness.
Kushner got Parscale hired, the person said, “despite the fact that a number of people in the campaign wondered whether he had any idea what he was doing.”
“He’s Jared’s boy,” the person added. “I had [campaign] deputies telling me they couldn’t question anything the guy did or said, and they were unhappy about that.”
In recent days, an explosive new book about the Trump campaign and the president’s first year in the White House has rocked the administration. The book, Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” features the former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon lambasting Trump and members of his family.
But Parscale’s tweet also raises new questions about how involved Kushner and Eric Trump were in episodes that have drawn the most scrutiny from investigators probing the campaign’s ties to Russia.
Those include agreeing to with the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and other Russian nationals at Trump Tower in June 2016; green-lighting a trip to Moscow for Carter Page, an early campaign aide, in July 2016; and altering the GOP’s Ukraine platform during the Republican National Convention that month.
Page told the House Intelligence Committee last year that days before the convention, Corey Lewandowski, then the campaign manager, gave him permission to travel to Russia. Lewandowski has denied that, but Page has said he has emails to prove it. It is not clear whether Lewandowski consulted with Kushner beforehand.
Parscale’s statement also raises questions about what Kushner and Eric Trump knew about George Papadopoulos, the former campaign aide who was charged late last year with making false statements to the FBI.
The campaign has characterized Papadopoulos as a “coffee boy,” but evidence has emerged that he attempted for months to set up a meeting between the Trump campaign and Russia, helped craft Trump’s first major foreign policy speech, and brokered campaign talks between Trump and Egypt’s president.
Papadopoulos also gave an interview as a Trump campaign official to Russia’s Interfax News Agency six weeks before Election Day, and he met with Israeli leaders as a foreign policy adviser during the presidential transition period.
Eric Trump, the cohead of the Trump Organization, has so far evaded the spotlight in the Russia investigation. That could change now that the organization has turned over documents to the special counsel Robert Mueller, CNN reported Thursday.
Meanwhile, federal and congressional investigators are reportedly scrutinizing the data operation Kushner supervised and Parscale directed, looking into whether it colluded with Russian bots and trolls that targeted voters with disinformation and propaganda before the US election.
Congressional committees are also investigating whether voter information stolen by Russian hackers from election databases in several US states made its way to the Trump campaign.
Parscale didn’t respond to a request for comment.