Kushner on Middle East: 'I don't know' what makes administration's approach unique

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said "I don't know" what makes the Trump administration's approach to peace in the Middle East unique, according to an audio recording of Kushner's speech to congressional interns given to Wired.com. 

The recording of Kushner's address, which is part of the off-the-record summer lecture series for congressional interns, provided the adviser's insight into the administration's strategy for the Middle East. 

Katie Patru, the deputy staff director for Member Services, Outreach & Communications told the interns before the talk that "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."


Patru said in her years of service "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."

Kushner was apparently asked about how he plans to negotiate peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the question-and-answer session, although audio of the question was not entirely clear, according to the Wired report.

The son-in-law to President Trump, who frequently advises him on a number of issues including seeking peace in the Middle East, said that he has done extensive research into the conflict.

"And what I've determined from looking at it is that not a whole lot has been accomplished over the last 40 or 50 years we've been doing this," he said. 

Kushner also said that he has spoken with "a lot of people" and has learned that "this is a very emotionally charged situation." 

Despite his apparent studies of Middle Eastern conflict, Kushner dismissed the importance of historical context in negotiating peace in the region.

"You know 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.  

"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," Kushner concluded. "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. 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."