Gergen: Kushner should take 'leave of absence'

Gergen: Kushner should consider taking leave
Gergen: Kushner should consider taking leave

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    Gergen: Kushner should consider taking leave

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Story highlights

  • "He cannot be in a position where it's later claimed that he's witness-hampering," Gergen said
  • Gergen went on to describe how Kushner's influence in the White House seems to have weakened

(CNN)Former presidential adviser David Gergen said Friday he believes top Donald Trump aide Jared Kushner should seriously consider taking a "leave of absence" in the wake of the investigation into possible ties between Trump's associates and Russia.

The FBI's probe of Russian meddling is increasingly touching on the multiple roles of Kushner on both the Trump campaign and transition team, CNN reported last week.
"Kushner has to be extremely careful what he says to people. He cannot be in a position where it's later claimed that he's witness-hampering," Gergen said.
    "It's extremely uncomfortable" to be a senior adviser inside the White House and be at the center of such an investigation, he told CNN's John Berman.
    "It's very distracting. It's very hard to get your mind on business and you spend a lot of time with lawyers," he added.
    Gergen, who served under four Presidents, described the complexity of working inside a White House that's being investigated.
    "People around him are going to eventually testify. If he goes up and gives them instructions about how to think about this or that, that could be considered tampering."
    Gergen went on to describe how Kushner's influence in the White House seems to have weakened.
    "His views were rejected by the President on climate change. His views have been rejected on some other things. He must wonder, you know, why am I taking this beating as I am inside here?"
    Gergen said "transparency should be the friend of this administration" and suggested again that Kushner take a "temporary leave of absence while they clear the air."
    The FBI is looking into the role Kushner held during the campaign and transition, including his contacts with Russian officials, his role in the campaign's data analytics operation and his relationship with former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
    There is no indication Kushner is currently a target of the FBI's probe and there are no allegations he committed any wrongdoing.