Jared Kushner-in Charge With Everything-Butts Heads With Stephen Bannon
If there is one thing Kushner’s tenure in his father in law’s WH shows it’s that nepotism works. April Fools! Today is the day and I had to do a few of them.
In truth it’s working about how you’d figure it would. Trump has pretty much put him in charge of everything-Middle East peace, Mexico, trade deals, tax reform, reinventing the government, and whatever Trump can think of before noon.
“In a White House where President Donald Trump commands reverence, Jared Kushner often refers to the president by one name: Donald. And while cable TV can dominate the president’s mood and set the agenda for senior administration staff, Kushner usually keeps his large flat-screen TV in his office turned off, a stark departure from other top aides.”
“Kushner, the president’s 36-year-old son-in-law and White House senior adviser, does essentially what he wants, having the benefit of not only Trump’s ear but — as a family member — his implicit trust.”
Hmm. What does Bannon call Trump?
“That trust has resulted in a vast portfolio that so far includes negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, helping oversee relations with Canada, China and Mexico and, as of this week, reinventing the federal government through the new White House Office of American Innovation.”
“But Kushner’s status as the big-issue guru has stoked resentment among his colleagues, who question whether Kushner is capable of following through on his various commitments and complain that his dabbling in myriad issues and his tendency to walk in and out of meetings have complicated efforts to instill more order and organization into the chaotic administration. These people also say Kushner can be a shrewd self promoter, knowing how to take credit — and shirk blame — whenever it suits him.”
“He’s saving the government and the Middle East at the same time,” one senior administration official quipped.
Maybe next week he’ll get a chance to cure the common cold and make some progress on curing cancer.
“On Wednesday, White House staffers and outside allies passed around a story from the parody website The Onion indicating that Kushner had “quietly moved the task ‘solve Middle East crisis’ to his to-do list for next week” because “there was simply too much on his plate right now to bring stability to the fractious region by end of day Friday.” Kushner did not see the piece, a person close to him said.
Besides all the rest, Bannon also has to explain to the Senate Committee why he sat down with a Russian banker from a bank the US has sanctioned.
On the other hand, Kushner and Bannon seem to be butting heads now.
“In addition to being arguably the president’s most trusted and influential adviser, Kushner also serves as Trump’s unofficial hatchet man. And all eyes are on Kushner as White House insiders predict a broader staff shakeup amid rising tensions between Kushner and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.”
“Kushner would like to present Trump a plan for improving the White House within weeks, around the 90-day mark, according to a person familiar with the plan.”
“In a move that’s alarming the West Wing’s hardline conservatives, Kushner is increasingly aligning himself with national economic adviser Gary Cohn, who’s participating in Kushner’s innovation office and a Democrat whose moderate political positions in some ways mirror Kushner’s own.”
“Kushner, the person familiar with his plans said, wants fewer zealots and less ideology in the West Wing — and is frustrated with the constant leaking and infighting that have characterized the administration’s early days.”
“Everyone is jealous,” said one person close to the White House. Kushner is “the ultimate decider. Mostly people are jealous.”
One of the many advantages in giving high ranking, senior positions to your own family members regardless of ability. Yep, April Fools again.
“This account of Kushner’s role is based on more than a dozen interviews with senior White House officials, allies, donors, lawmakers and others.”
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Kushner has been an asset to the Trump administration. “Jared has been a top advisor to the president from the beginning. Using his wealth of private-sector experience, he is always finding innovative solutions to our country’s biggest problems.”
Of course, Priebus is going to say this. Can you imagine him saying anything negative about Trump’s son in law? Not if he wants to keep his job in the WH.
“Kushner has told people that he believes at least some of the resentment of him is being whipped up by people who worked on the campaign but didn’t get the jobs in the White House, such as Lewandowski, as well as conservatives concerned that he’s too liberal.”
“Lewandowski did not respond to a request for comment, but Kushner’s allies contend that Lewandowski and other critics have tried to plant negative stories about Kushner in the media.”
“They point, for example, to a burst of inquiries from at least seven media outlets chasing a tip that Kushner was lobbying Trump to pardon Kushner’s father Charles Kushner, who pleaded guilty in 2005 to tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign contributions. There’s no evidence Jared Kushner sought such a pardon, and no media outlets have corroborated the rumor.”
It occurs to me that it’s hard to pick a side in this battle. Yes, you can argue Kushner is not qualified for such a large portfolio-who would be?
But this is a WH full of people who aren’t qualified. What’s interesting is that if you hire 100 people with zero relevant experience you still have zero net experience.
Rick Wilson was talking specifically about the Nunes leaked intel mess here:
“This ridiculous farce didn’t spring fully formed from Nunes’s brow. He shows—as the past week abundantly demonstrates—few of the skills needed to engage in the big games of either intelligence or of the real cut-and-thrust of the D.C. demimonde. Washington rewards talented liars of both parties and punishes the clumsy ones.”
“Nunes is a clumsy liar and it shows. He’s an errand boy sent by grocery clerks with just enough understanding of the game and the stakes to think this is going to work out because their base is always with them.”
But it strikes me that this more or less applies to everyone in the Trump WH. An Administration of grocery clerks who think they know something when they know nothing.
And the few adults like H.R. General McMaster at this point aren’t driving the train.
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