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White House adviser and President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner called the idea that the 2016 Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government "nonsense" during an interview at TIME's 100 summit on Tuesday.

"You look at what Russia did, buying some Facebook ads and trying to sow dissent ... and it's a terrible thing, but I think the investigations and all of the speculation that's happened for the last two years has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than some Facebook ads."

The big picture: Kushner, who was present at the 2016 Trump Tower meeting and had numerous Russian contacts that he failed to disclose on his security clearance form, largely reiterated what he told Axios immediately after Attorney General Bill Barr's summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's report was first released last month, stating that he felt vindicated by the conclusions in Mueller's report.

Go deeper: Kushner: Trump's Middle East peace plan will be released in June

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

CDC panel recommends Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up

Photo: Marco Bello/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A key panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people 65 years old and older, as well as those at high risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: The approval is the near-final step in making the booster shots available to tens of millions of Americans, and comes a day after the FDA approved Pfizer boosters for the two groups. CDC director Rochelle Walensky is expected to accept the recommendation.

DHS temporarily suspends use of horse patrol in Del Rio

U.S. Border Patrol agents watch as Haitian immigrant families cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 23, 2021. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday temporarily suspended the use of horse patrol in Del Rio, Texas a DHS spokesperson confirmed.

Why it matters: The suspension comes after images showing border patrol agents whipping at and charging their horses at migrants surfaced earlier in the week, prompting widespread criticism of the Biden administration's handling of the crisis at the border.

Southwest drought is worst on record, NOAA finds

In a stark new report, a team of NOAA and independent researchers found the 2020-2021 drought across the Southwest is the worst in the instrumental record, which dates to 1895.

Why it matters: They also concluded that global warming is making it far more severe, primarily by increasing average temperatures, which boosts evaporation.