New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s response to recent news connecting Russia to President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and aide, Jared Kushner, has been questioned by some following reports he received campaign donations from Kushner.
During a CNN interview on May 28, Booker was asked about the Democratic National Committee’s call to suspend Kushner’s security clearance after it was reported that he allegedly attempted to set up back-channel communications with Russia.
The senator, a potential 2020 Democratic candidate for president, did not endorse such a call and put the breaks on calling for Trump’s impeachment.
“It raises very serious concerns for me,” Booker said regarding Kushner’s security clearance. “And that could be a potential outcome that I seek, but I want to understand, at least hear from Jared Kushner, as well as the administration, about what was exactly going on there.”
Others like Sen. Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, were also asked about Kushner’s alleged ties to Russia. Franken called it “against the law” that Kushner failed to disclose his contacts with Russia when getting his security clearance during a “CBS This Morning” interview on May 30.
Shortly after Booker’s weekend interview, the International Business Times reported on May 29 that Kushner and those affiliated with his company, Kushner Cos., contributed more than $41,000 to Booker’s first Senate campaign in 2013. It also noted that Kushner donated $20,000 to Booker’s Newark mayoral race in 2009, the same year Booker attended his and Ivanka Trump’s wedding.
Some on the political left, such as one writer on the liberal Daily Kos website, questioned Booker’s allegiance, describing him in unsavory terms as “selling his integrity to the highest bidder.”
Booker’s spokesman Jeff Giertz declined to comment on the matter.
It should be noted that Booker has called for more investigation into Trump’s involvement with Russia during the 2016 election. Shortly after a special prosecutor was appointed, he issued the following statement:
“We must get to the bottom of Russia’s dangerous and unprecedented interference in our election to hold accountable those responsible and ensure it doesn’t happen again. It’s a matter of national security,” he said.