Here is what a well-known documentary filmmaker* recently had to say about comparing Kushner and Jefferson:
- President Jefferson himself was the communicator or "back channel" via the American Ambassador to France, Robert Livingston — not, say, his son-in-law Thomas Mann Randolph, an accomplished public servant Jefferson never dreamed of bringing into his own White House.
- Jefferson was the most experienced diplomat in the land — stark contrast — as Washington's former Secretary of State and Ambassador to France.
- There was a paramount public purpose in the National Interest: the acquisition of New Orleans, control of the Mississippi, and acquisition of midwestern lands that would double the size of the U.S. — unlike Kremlingate.
- The communication did NOT happen during the transition.
- There was no hint of conflict of interest — no equivalent to Vnesheconombank. Jefferson never personally profited from the Louisiana Purchase (a different president — ahem! — could have).
- Russia was not attempting to meddle in American elections circa 1800 — unlike in 2016.
- Above all, the influence was U.S.-to-France. With Flynn, Manafort, and possibly Kushner/Vnesheconombank, the "back channel" of influence may well be Russian influence over the U.S.