Jared Kushner received online ridicule for suggesting he could “live forever” thanks to exercise and advances in science, in what has since been labelled by an aide as being “tongue-in-cheek”.
Speaking on the YouTube channel LivesSigning on Thursday, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and former adviser told listeners that he was keeping fit because his generation could be the first to escape death.
“I think there’s a good probability that my generation is — hopefully with the advances in science — either will be the first generation to live forever or the last generation that’s going to die,” the 41-year-old said. “So we need to keep ourselves in pretty good shape.”
The husband of Ivanka Trump and father of three had been asked about his daily routine when he responded with talk about exercise, which he said was trying to make a “priority” since leaving the White House.
Online, his comments were derided by many for being outlandish with a New Yorker staff writer tweeting: “Cool sci-fi dystopia: you get to live forever but in a world in which Jared Kushner also lives forever and never goes away”.
New York Times national political reporter Shane Goldmacher meanwhile added: “After rewatching this Jared Kushner clip, I can’t help but wonder: How differently would you lead your life if you thought you were going to actually live forever?”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Whether it’s Donald Trump seeking a second term to avoid indictment or Jared Kushner insisting he’s going to live forever, Republicans are masters at playing the long game.”
In comments to The Daily Beast, a source described as being close to Mr Kushner said the remarks about wanting to live forever were a “like a tongue-in-cheek joke to make the larger point that he wants to work out and be in good shape because people are living longer lives”.
The furore follows a recent appearance on Fox News in which Mr Kushner appeared to dodge questions about the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago for classified and secret documents as part of a Justice Department investigation.
He had earlier been forced to dismiss claims that he was responsible for tipping off the FBI and Justice Department about previously unknown classified documents held at Mar-a-Lago by Mr Trump. who has described the probe as a “witch hunt”.
“That’s again why I wrote this book,” Mr Kushner said on Fox News of his new memoir “Breaking History”. “I wanted people to really understand what it was like to be living through that when you know you’ve done nothing wrong, you’re there trying to get good things done”.
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