Donald Trump: ‘I Have Total Confidence in Jared’
I don’t know about you, but when I hear that I think-ok so we’re here already?
That’s what George Steinbrenner used to say before he fired Bill Martin again. It’s what Trump said before he fired Mike Flynn.
When the boss says ‘I have total confidence’ in you it means there’s reason to doubt it. So it’s never a great thing to hear.
“The most successful deal of Jared Kushner’s short and consequential career in real estate and politics involves one highly leveraged acquisition: a pair of adjoining offices a few penny-loafer paces from his father-in-law’s desk in the White House.”
“Over the past week, Mr. Kushner, who at age 36 occupies an ill-defined role somewhere between princeling and President Trump’s shadow chief of staff, has seen his foothold on that invaluable real estate shrink amid revelations he is under scrutiny in a federal investigation into whether there was collusion with Russian officials during the presidential campaign.”
Of course, a lot of staffers in the West Wing don’t like him. After all, it’s one thing to be the Teacher’s Pet. If you are the boss’ favorite by merit, people will give you grudging respect. But when it’s purely via nepotism the resentment must be high. And before this Jared was simply untouchable. No more.
“What is less clear is how Mr. Kushner’s woes will affect his hard-won influence on a mercurial father-in-law who is eager to put distance between himself and a scandal that is swamping his agenda and, he believes, threatening his family.”
“Some Democrats are calling on the president to revoke Mr. Kushner’s security clearances. Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and a chairman of the House committee investigating Russian efforts to sway the 2016 election, suggested in an interview on Sunday that the recent news reports about Mr. Kushner have brought the investigation from the periphery of the Trump campaign and transition teams into the Oval Office.”
“If these stories are accurate” in their description of Mr. Kushner and Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s ousted national security adviser, “were they acting at the behest of Mr. Trump, then-candidate, or President-elect Trump? But whether they were or not, they’re still significant.”
In a statement Sunday night, Mr. Trump praised his son-in-law and the work he has done in the White House.
“Jared is doing a great job for the country,” he said. “I have total confidence in him. He is respected by virtually everyone and is working on programs that will save our country billions of dollars. In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he is a very good person.”
Total confidence. That phrase again.
“But in recent weeks, the Trump-Kushner relationship, the most stable partnership in an often unstable West Wing, is showing unmistakable signs of strain.”
“That relationship had already begun to fray a bit after Mr. Trump’s dismissal of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, which Mr. Kushner had strongly advocated, and because of his repeated attempts to oust Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, as well as the president’s overburdened communications team, especially Sean Spicer, the press secretary.”
“Indeed, Kushner’s strong advocacy for firing Comey may itself be obstruction of justice. And while Trump can’t go to jail until he’s impeached, this is not true of Jared.”
“The most serious point of contention between the president and his son-in-law, two people familiar with the interactions said, was a video clip this month of Mr. Kushner’s sister Nicole Meyer pitching potential investors in Beijing on a Kushner Companies condominium project in Jersey City. At one point, Ms. Meyer — who remains close to Mr. Kushner — dangled the availability of EB-5 visas to the United States as an enticement for Chinese financiers willing to spend $500,000 or more.”
“For Mr. Trump, Ms. Meyer’s performance violated two major rules: Politically, it undercut his immigration crackdown, and in a personal sense, it smacked of profiteering off Mr. Trump — one of the sins that warrants expulsion from his orbit.”
“In the following days during routine West Wing meetings, the president made several snarky, disparaging comments about Mr. Kushner’s family and the visas that were clearly intended to express his annoyance, two aides said. Mr. Kushner did not respond, at least not in earshot.”
Jared never talks-at least in public.
“His preppy aesthetic, sotto voce style and preference for backstage maneuvering seemingly set him apart from his father-in-law — but the similarities outweigh the differences. Both men were reared in the freewheeling, ruthless world of real estate, and both possess an unshakable self-assurance that is both their greatest attribute and their direst vulnerability.”
“Mr. Kushner’s reported feeler to the Russians even as President Barack Obama remained in charge of American foreign policy was a trademark move by someone with a deep confidence in his abilities that critics say borders on conceit, people close to him said. And it echoes his history of sailing forth into unknown territory, including buying a newspaper at age 25 and developing a data-analytics program that he has said helped deliver the presidency to his father-in-law.”
Oh, yes. Then there’s Jared’s data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica. When you talk about collusion you want to look at Columbia Analytica.
Indeed, they are also accused of influencing the Brexit vote.
“That unfailing self-regard has not endeared him to the rest of the staff. Resentful Trump staff members have long talked about “Jared Island” to describe the special status occupied by Mr. Kushner, who, in their view, is given license to exercise power and take on a vague portfolio — “Middle East peace” and “innovation” are its central components — without suffering the consequences of failure visited by the president on mere hirelings.”
“Adding to the animus is Mr. Kushner’s aloof demeanor and his propensity for avoiding messy aspects of his job that he would simply rather not do — he has told associates he wants nothing to do with the legislative process, for instance. He also has a habit, they say, of disappearing during crises, such as his absence on a family ski trip when Mr. Trump’s first health care bill was crashing in March.”
“But the Russia investigation has shaken Mr. Kushner, friends and associates say. When news broke last week, Mr. Kushner and his wife at first discussed getting a statement denying the report issued through the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II — who told them that it was not a good precedent to set and that it was a job for a personal attorney.”
We’ll see how long Jared stays. Maybe in July he leaves of his own accord. But in reality he should not be handling classified information and his clearance should be revoked.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.