Man, this NYT piece has enough juicy morsels to satisfy the most Trump-loving nationalist or the most Trump-hating Democrat. Their nexus: Contempt for Prince Jared, who’s suddenly out of favor within the inner circle. And not just because of his Russia follies.
He can’t be fired, of course, as he’s part of the family. The only solution is to exile him and have Ivanka unite the continent by marrying Justin Trudeau.
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.
“Profiteering off Mr. Trump” is a cardinal sin? Literally everyone who knows Trump has tried to do that. Corey Lewandowski opened up a lobbying shop next to the White House (which he’s since left) premised explicitly on his access to the president, and Trump was so angry about it that he’s reportedly ready to hire Corey as a “crisis manager” any day now. Which, come to think of it, is another sign of Kushner losing sway. It was Jared and Ivanka who leaned on Trump to fire Lewandowski as campaign manager last year. If Corey’s coming back, Trump’s obviously not listening to Kushner as closely as he used to. Next stop: Chief of staff Chris Christie? Don’t laugh — WaPo floated a rumor yesterday that Reince Priebus will soon be sent packing as the next ambassador to Greece.
It’s not just the snafu with Kushner’s family selling visas in China that pissed off Trump and others in the West Wing, per the Times. The Russia headache is part of it, as is Kushner’s piss-poor political instinct in pushing hard to fire Comey in the foolish belief that Democrats would rally around the president for it. Bannonites also dislike him, of course, because of Kushner’s clashes with their champion and his alleged habit of telling White House staffers to choose sides between them, with Trump himself reportedly warning Jared at one point to stop asking him to fire Bannon. On top of all that, though, is annoyance at his exalted status as “first among equals” among Trump’s advisors even though he did nothing in politics before last year and seems not to want to dirty his hands with the actual hard business of governing. Politico:
Jared Kushner gets permanent White House security clearance, and met with special counsel for a second time
Why did it take so long? You can tell this guy is trustworthy just by looking at him.
Friday, March 1, 2019 — House Oversight Committee issues ultimatum to White House over security clearance information
This is something that should have been looked into 9 months ago, oversight being the primary function and responsibility of the House Oversight Committee. It was ignored, as if there were nothing the least bit unusual about Top Secret security clearances being granted to a son-in-law and daughter who are deeply involved in a “billionaire” president’s undisclosed international business and financial activities.