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Jared Kushner offers insight into his approach to Middle East peace process

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, leads the inaugural meeting of the American Technology Council in the Indian Treaty Room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building .

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Jared Kushner offered some insight Monday into his approach to dealing with the Middle East peace process, according to audio obtained by WIRED magazine.

The president's son-in-law was speaking to congressional interns as part of an off-the-record summer lecture series. Interns were warned by an official not to record the session, but the magazine obtained a recording of his comments, which lasted for just under an hour.

The report said while the audio didn't catch the entire question, it appeared to be focused on Kushner's effort to facilitate peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, as he has been tasked to do by the president.

"So first of all, this is one of the ones I was asked to take on, and I did with this something that I do with every problem set you get. Which is you try to study the historical context to understand how something got to where it is, who was successful, and who wasn't successful," he said.

From his research, Kushner said he determined that "not a whole lot" has been accomplished over the last 40 to 50 years.

"I have tried to look at why people haven't been successful in the negotiations, so I looked and studied all the different negotiations. I spoke to a lot of people who have have been part of them, and I think the reason why is that this is a very emotionally charged situation," he said. 

The president's son-in-law and top adviser suggested that history did not have enough to offer in terms of coming up with an approach to Middle East peace.

"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," Kushner told the interns. "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."

He spoke about some of the latest tensions in the region and noted that they're working "quietly" with both sides to try and come up with a solution to their issues.

"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. 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," he said. 

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.