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April 23, 2019

Jared Kushner has a predictable first response to the Mueller report.

In a Tuesday appearance at the TIME 100 summit, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser discussed last week's Mueller report release, characterizing it all as just "a big distraction for the whole country." But instead of touching on the report's details on Trump's possible obstruction of justice, Kushner focused on the far less controversial Russian election interference.

While American intelligence officials largely concluded that the interference happened, and that it was a big deal, Kushner decided to brush it all off as "a couple of Facebook ads" that Russia purchased for about $160,000. The Mueller probe itself "had a much harsher impact on our democracy" than the ads, Kushner added, but failed to acknowledge that Russia's Facebook ad buy was only a tiny chunk of its entire interference operations.

NBC News' Ben Collins was quick to correct Kushner's characterization, tweeting that Russia's "troll farm spent $1.25 million per month illegally boosting" Trump, and that "most of their influence was organic — not an ad at all." That troll farm received 187 million interactions on Instagram from 2015 through 2018, and another 77 million interactions on Facebook and 73 million on Twitter, a Senate Intelligence Committee report previously found — all without major help from ad buys. Kathryn Krawczyk

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