As President Donald Trump tries to annul the 2020 election, forgives the perpetrators of one of the most infamous atrocities of the Iraq War and throws a last-minute key to government funding and COVID’s relief legislation, his most trusted adviser is half a world away.
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser to the White House, spent significant time after the election abroad, including defending the work he did in the Middle East. He planted an olive tree in the Grove of Nations in Jerusalem, elbowed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu and made the first direct flight between Morocco and Israel, after orchestrating a formal distension between the two nations – a lubricated strain from arms sales. and a de facto green light for the territorial annexation of Palestinian lands.
The trip was commemorative. On Monday, the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, announced that the courtyard in front of the US embassy in Jerusalem would be named in honor of Kushner. But it also seems that the people at home are wild, almost comically, inopportune; and, they deliberately suspect. After all, Jared has a habit of getting out of dodge at the most problematic moments and rarely as problematic as the current one.
“This is exactly what Jared does,” said a senior adviser to Trump.
Among Trump’s faithful, resentment against Kushner has increased in recent weeks. Two other sources close to the president described Kushner, respectively, as “nowhere to be found” and having “fled for protection”. At the beginning of these efforts, Kushner supported at least nominally his father-in-law’s legal and public relations blitz, with Trump’s top adviser Jason Miller saying in early November: “Jared has been stronger in the fight against this than any But several of the president’s confidants do not believe that the senior White House adviser has faith in Trump’s pressure to undo the election results now.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
At the beginning of the Trump administration, the conventional wisdom around Kushner was that he would be a moderating influence on the president – the only person among the group of high-ranking advisers who could tell the boss the unequivocal truth; or, if not, at least something not driven by pure right-wing id. It was not just that Kushner was a product of elite institutions and cosmopolitan society. It is that, unlike everyone else, he was not afraid of being fired; the advantages, it is supposed, of being son-in-law.
But the CW was wrong. Those who have observed the Trump-Kushner relationship say that the latter enjoys a rare status within the president’s orbit. And because of that, he was given huge responsibilities, jumped from pet to pet, and ran away from them when many bad PRs came along or when he just got bored. But he was never the moderating influence that Democrats (and many Republicans) had long hoped for. Often, in fact, he prefers to keep the peace rather than seek confrontation.
“Jared can have that aura about him,” said a Trump adviser. “But what he does well is that he knows when to get in and out. He’s not a Trump whisper that the president is hearing in shit like [the post election conspiracies]. There is a reason for him to do what he does. There is a reason for him to come and go and leave when things get worse. He doesn’t want to play that role. The only reason he is gone now is because he knows that the president would probably explode on him. “
“Jared may have that aura about him. But what he does well is that he knows when to get in and out. He’s not a Trump whisper that the president is hearing in shit like [the post election conspiracies]. There is a reason for him to do what he does. There is a reason why he goes in and out and leaves when things get bad. He doesn’t want to play that role.“
– One Trump Advisor
Kushner’s miraculous ability to stay out of sight – with his wife and fellow White House adviser Ivanka by his side – during times when Trump is at his most volatile has become something of a joke at Trumpland.
In the first year of the Trump era, when some Democrats expected Ivanka and Kushner to serve as a socially liberal control over the government’s implementation of anti-LGBTQ policies, the couple – as a senior White House official at the time noted – quickly decided that their “political capital is spent elsewhere”. In early 2017, during high-risk negotiations between the Trump White House and Republican lawmakers over the attempt to repeal Obamacare, the two went skiing in Aspen. And during the pandemic, Kushner first positioned himself as the savior of the Trump administration’s initial response, only to become less visible and involved as the promises he made around testing and medical supplies proved to be inaccurate.
And yet, few moments seem to need someone to speak seriously to the president about his options like the one Trump is now in. The president, in recent weeks, has clung to a variety of conspiracy theories to explain his electoral defeat. And he gave some of the biggest suppliers of misinformation and lies the most valuable commodity he has: his attention and interest.
The result was chaos. A competing faction of advisers – President Rudy Giuliani’s attorney and chief chief of staff Mark Meadows, the chief of them – has been actively working to attract Trump with a set of electoral turnaround ideas in an effort to distract him from a more extreme plot. of ideas that cancel democracy pushed to Trump by diehard supporters, like MAGA lawyer Sidney Powell and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“I think you could call this a way to fight fire with fire,” said an adviser close to the president.
Trump has decided, at least from now on, to reject Powell’s requests for him to make his “special lawyer” to investigate allegations of electoral fraud. And the military has sent signals of objection to the martial law that Flynn advocates to return to run for election in decisive states.
Since the summer, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, has repeatedly objected to the military’s involvement in the election – a kind of atonement for Milley, who expressed regret for giving Trump a military endorsement for the infamous Lafayette attack. Square to peaceful black liberation protesters in June.
“We do not take an oath to a king or queen or tyrant or dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual. No, we do not take an oath to a country, tribe or religion. We take an oath to the Constitution, ”said Milley on November 11, when it began to appear clear to everyone except Trump’s loyalists that Trump had lost the election.
But as talks about the coup have intensified in recent days, Milley has not reiterated his objections or made them more explicit. His allies believe his position is clear enough. On Friday, Ryan McCarthy, the army secretary, and General James McConville, his chief of staff, said publicly that “there is no role for the US military in determining the outcome of an American election.” Milley’s spokesman declined to comment for the record and it is not clear whether the president knew about McCarthy and McConville’s comments in advance.
Still, there is uncertainty within Trump’s own party as to whether he will interpret these comments as real disclaimers. There is also a fear that he will attack more as it becomes clear that his options are extinct. On Tuesday, the president threatened to derail a $ 900 billion bipartisan government relief and financing bill from COVID because he wanted to include bigger checks for Americans and did not like some of the spending provisions on more esoteric items. On Wednesday, the White House re-released a statement it had sent to advisers advising them that they should begin the process of moving the facilities in the week of January 4.
And Trump’s most eccentric and radical drivers seem eager to continue his challenge to reality.
“I think the president has some people who are right next to him, who are trying to give up and I think they have their own personal agendas, including people in his party,” said MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a staunch Trump ally who is funding several of the efforts to challenge the election result, he told The Daily Beast. “And when everything is revealed and all personal agendas are disclosed, there will be a major cleanup. These people, like White House lawyers [including Pat Cipollone] who are telling him to give up our country … they should be ashamed of themselves. “
If Kushner could do anything about it, it is highly unlikely. Nor is it clear whether he would feel opposed to her enough to actually do something constructive. On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that he had been approached by “people seeking his help with Mr. Trump” and rejected his pleas “saying that the president is the grandfather of his children, which implies that there are limits to what he can do to help”.
It is, as several advisers to Trump say, the classic Jared.
“Jared is doing a fantastic job of taking care of himself and his own image and reputation [this month]”Said one of the sources close to Trump. “That was how many of us expected him to behave during this fight in the first place.”