As President Donald Trump tries to overturn the 2020 election, forgives the perpetrators of one of the Iraq War’s most infamous atrocities and throws a last-minute wrench into government funding and relief legislation COVID, his most trusted advisor has been halfway around the world. .
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House aide, spent a lot of time after the election abroad, including defending his work in the Middle East. He planted an olive tree in the Grove of Nations in Jerusalem, collided with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu, and took the first direct flight between Morocco and Israel, after orchestrating a formal detente between the two nations – a detente lubricated by the arms sales and a de facto green light for the territorial annexation of Palestinian land.
The trip was festive. On Monday, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman announced that the court outside the US Embassy in Jerusalem would be named in honor of Kushner. But he also hit the individuals at home as madly, almost comically, inappropriate; and, they suspect, deliberately. Jared, after all, has a habit of coming out of dodging at the most problematic times and a few times are as problematic as the current one.
“That’s exactly what Jared is doing,” said a senior Trump aide.
Among Trump’s loyalists, resentment at Kushner has grown over the past two weeks. Two other sources close to the president respectively described Kushner as “nowhere to be found” and “showing up for shelter”. At the start of these efforts, Kushner was at least theoretically supporting the legal and public relations blitz of his stepfather, Trump’s senior adviser Jason Miller, saying in early November: “Jared was harder to hit back than anyone. “But many of the president’s confidants don’t believe the White House senior adviser has confidence in Trump’s willingness to overturn the election results now.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
At the dawn of the Trump administration, the conventional wisdom around Kushner was that he would have a moderating influence over the president – the only person among the group of high-ranking aides who could tell the boss the unequivocal truth; or, if not that, at least something that is not motivated by a pure right-wing identity. It wasn’t just that Kushner was the product of elite institutions and a cosmopolitan society. It was because, unlike everyone else, he did not suffer from the fear of being fired; the advantages, it is assumed, of being the son-in-law.
But the CW was wrong. Those who have observed the Trump-Kushner relationship say the latter enjoys rare status in the president’s orbit. And, because of that, he was given huge responsibilities, went from familiar initiative to initiative, and gave up on them when too much bad PR emerged or when he was just bored. But he was never the moderating influence Democrats (and many Republicans) had long hoped for. Often, in fact, he would rather keep the peace than continue the confrontation.
“Jared might have that aura about him,” a Trump adviser said. “But what he does well is he knows when to come in and when to leave. It’s not a whisper from Trump the president listens to on shit like [the post election conspiracies]. There is a reason he does what he does. There’s a reason he comes in and out and leaves when the going gets tough. He doesn’t want to play that role. The only reason he’s gone right now is because he knows the president would likely blow up on him.
“Jared might have this aura around him. But what he does well is he knows when to come in and when to exit. It’s not a whisper from Trump the president listens to on shit like [the post election conspiracies]. There is a reason he does what he does. There’s a reason he comes in and out and leaves when the going gets tough. He doesn’t want to play that role.“
– A Trump adviser
Kushner’s miraculous ability to be out of sight – with his wife and fellow White House adviser Ivanka by his side – during Trump’s most volatile times has become something of a punchline in Trumpland.
In the first year of the Trump era, when some Democrats hoped Ivanka and Kushner would serve as socially liberal control over the administration’s anti-LGBTQ policy rollout, the couple – as one pointed out senior White House official at the time – quickly decided that their “political capital should be spent elsewhere.” In early 2017, during high-stakes talks between Trump’s White House and Republican lawmakers over the attempted repeal of Obamacare, the two went skiing in Aspen. And during the pandemic, Kushner initially positioned himself as the savior of the Trump administration’s early response, only to become less visible and involved as promises he made around testing and medical supplies fell apart. found to be inaccurate.
And yet, a few moments seem like it takes someone to soberly talk to the president about his options like the one Trump is in now. The president has, in recent weeks, clung to a variety of savage conspiracy theories to explain his electoral loss. And he’s given some of the biggest purveyors of disinformation and is found the most valuable commodity he owns: his attention and interest.
The result was chaos. A competing faction of advisers – President Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer, and his chief of staff Mark Meadows, the chief of them – have been actively working to lure Trump with a set of ideas calling off the election in an attempt to distract him of a lot more extreme. of ideas quashing democracy pushed to Trump by staunch supporters like MAGA lawyer Sidney Powell and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“I guess you could call it a form of fire fighting with fire,” a close adviser to the president said.
Trump has, at least from now on, decided to dismiss calls from Powell asking him to make his “special advocate” to investigate the allegations of electoral fraud. And the military has sent out signals opposing the martial law that Flynn is advocating for renewed elections in key states.
Since the summer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has registered repeated objections to the military’s involvement in the election – an atonement, of sorts, for Milley, who has expressed regret for giving Trump a military imprimatur for the infamous Lafayette Square assault on peaceful black liberation protesters in June.
“We do not take an oath to a king or a queen or a tyrant or a dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual. No, we do not take an oath to any country, tribe or religion. We take an oath to the Constitution, ”Milley said on Nov. 11, as it began to appear clear to all loyalists except Trump that Trump had lost the election.
But as talks about the coup escalated in recent days, Milley had not reiterated his objections or made them more explicit. His allies believe his position is sufficiently clear. On Friday, Ryan McCarthy, Secretary of the Army, and General James McConville, his Chief of Staff, publicly declared that “the US military has no role in determining the outcome of a US election. “. Milley’s spokesperson did not comment for the record and it is not clear whether the president was aware of McCarthy and McConville’s remarks in advance.
Still, there is uncertainty within Trump’s own party as to whether he will view these comments as genuine repudiations. There are also fears that he may go on a rampage further as it becomes clear his options are off. On Tuesday, the president threatened to derail a $ 900 billion bipartisan COVID relief and government funding bill because he wanted it to include bigger checks to Americans and didn’t like some of the spending provisions on more esoteric items. On Wednesday, the White House recalled a notice it sent to assistants informing them that they should begin the process of moving the premises the week of January 4.
And Trump’s more eccentric and uncompromising boosters seem eager to continue defying reality.
“I think the president has people who are right there next to him trying to give up and I think they have their own personal agendas including members of his party,” said Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, a staunch Trump ally who funds several of the efforts to challenge the election result, told The Daily Beast. “And after all is revealed and all the personal programs are released, there will be a great purification. These people, like White House lawyers [including Pat Cipollone] who tell him to abandon our country… they should be ashamed of themselves.
Kushner is unlikely to be able to do anything about it. It is also not clear whether he would oppose it enough to do anything constructive. Wednesday, The New York Times reported that he had been approached by “people seeking his help from Mr. Trump” and dismissed their pleas “saying the President was the grandfather of his children, implying that there are limits to what he can do to help ”.
It is, as several Trump collaborators say, the classic Jared.
“Jared does a fantastic job caring about himself, his own image and his reputation. [this month]One of the sources close to Trump said. “That’s what a lot of us expected of him to behave during this fight in the first place.”
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