Officials in at least 4 countries (UAE, China, Israel, Mexico) have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner by taking advantage of his complex biz arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, WaPo reports. https://t.co/mwt9wsNlS2
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 27, 2018
What I’m hoping is that this is the arc of the story where the Mad Baron’s lower-level minions have deserted or been killed, his enemies have the castle surrounded, and his courtiers start picking each other off, either in retaliation for past betrayals or in hopes of currying favor with the invaders. Watching the Young Prince get thrown off the tower, preferably in front of his old man’s eyes, comes right before the final battle…
Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter.
Among those nations discussing ways to influence Kushner to their advantage were the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico, the current and former officials said…
H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s national security adviser, learned that Kushner had contacts with foreign officials that he did not coordinate through the National Security Council or officially report. The issue of foreign officials talking about their meetings with Kushner and their perception of his vulnerabilities was a subject raised in McMaster’s daily intelligence briefings, according to the current and former officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.
Within the White House, Kushner’s lack of government experience and his business debt were seen from the beginning of his tenure as potential points of leverage that foreign governments could use to influence him, the current and former officials said.
They could also have legal implications. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has asked people about the protocols Kushner used when he set up conversations with foreign leaders, according to a former U.S. official.
Officials in the White House were concerned that Kushner was “naive and being tricked” in conversations with foreign officials, some of whom said they wanted to deal only with Kushner directly and not more experienced personnel, said one former White House official…
He’s not a ‘traitor’ traitor — he’s just ill-informed and over his head! Sure, that’ll work.
Huh. Having top presidential advisor in a desperate financial straights and desperate for money turns out to be more than a notional problem.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 27, 2018
Government life was always going to be a challenge for Kushner, seeing as his biggest qualification for his current position is “I am married to the President’s daughter.” https://t.co/5LtTh2z6kG
— Jane Coaston (@cjane87) February 27, 2018
Olivia Nuzzi, at NYMag, “Jared Kushner Loses His Right-Hand Man Just When He Needs Him Most”:
… Axios broke the story that Josh Raffel, a press official who is considered the personal spokesman of Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, would be resigning. Raffel, who is 33, is a Democrat who was still donating to Hillary Clinton as of October 2016, according to BuzzFeed. But whatever his political leanings (Kushner is the son of a prominent Democratic donor, and Trump himself was previously a Democrat), Raffel is centrally defined as a PR professional…
A senior communications staffer resigning — or being fired, or self immolating, for that matter — is not unusual in this White House, where, in just over a year, there have been three communications directors and two press secretaries. But Raffel’s performance itself was unusual, especially judged against the tumultuous backdrop of the summer, when the mood in the West Wing seemed almost cannibalistic.
With the press, Raffel was generally responsive and professional — if not particularly helpful — in a way that set him apart from the Mooches or Spiceys or scowling underlings in the press office. And unlike the others who shared his senior status, he hardly made headlines himself. If he wasn’t making things better for the officials he served, he at least wasn’t actively making them worse. For Ivanka and Jared, losing him is a significant blow — one they hardly seem able to afford…
When you assume that people only do things for money, you end up surrounded by people who regard you as just another asset, to be discarded when your value erodes — or implodes.
With Jared Kushner losing access to Top Secret data, he's out of luck — I mean, unless people in the White House are indifferent to the rule of law, suspicious of restrictions on their power and discretion, and cavalier about security issues.
— DontPeekJaredItsSecretHat (@Popehat) February 27, 2018
but does Jared Kushner still have access to the president’s most trusted source of top-level information, days-old broadcasts of Fox and Friends?
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) February 27, 2018
Kushner gets invited to high stakes poker games and thinks it’s because he’s a shark. pic.twitter.com/AyJ7RRuGoC
— Jamez Harriz (@JaZarris) February 28, 2018
Our building has low vacancy and needs work. Midtown rents are flat or down. Can't use foreign/EB5 money. Plus intense political scrutiny. Who's in? https://t.co/ZjVhF0pTOx
— Jonathan O'Connell (@OConnellPostbiz) February 27, 2018
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) February 27, 2018