Kushner has begun convening biweekly meetings on wall, getting involved in eminent domain and pushing officials to expedite construction ahead of November. That has concerned Army Corps officials and others who say he knows little & laws must be followed. https://t.co/LRBNhPIghC
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) November 26, 2019
We’ve got a real self-esteem problem in this country. Specifically— the wrong people having too much of it.
— Amusing Username Pending (@cathylanski) November 25, 2019
President Trump has made his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the de facto project manager for constructing his border wall, frustrated with a lack of progress over one of his top priorities as he heads into a tough reelection campaign, according to current and former administration officials.
Kushner convenes biweekly meetings in the West Wing, where he questions an array of government officials about progress on the wall, including updates on contractor data, precisely where it will be built and how funding is being spent. He also shares and explains the president’s wishes with the group, according to the officials familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.
The president’s son-in-law and senior adviser is pressing U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the process of taking over private land needed for the project as the government seeks to meet Trump’s goal of erecting 450 miles of barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of 2020. More than 800 filings to seize private property will need to be made in the coming months if the government is going to succeed, officials aid.
Kushner has told other West Wing officials that he is in charge of the wall, according to aides, and that it is paramount to Trump that at least 400 miles be built by Election Day…
… Kushner has clashed with the career officials who have questioned some of his ideas, such as installing web cameras to live-stream construction. He has blamed former chief of staff John F. Kelly and former homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for not focusing enough on the wall, senior administration officials said. For their part, former officials have said Kushner displays a lack of knowledge of the policy issues and politics involved in the immigration debate.
The wall adds to Kushner’s growing portfolio of responsibilities, which some of his critics have said border on comical. Since the start of the Trump presidency, Kushner has been entrusted with striking a Middle East peace deal, taking a lead role on trade policy, overseeing criminal justice reform and modernizing the government, with mixed results. Kushner is also seeking to again push an overhaul of the legal immigration system after his first attempt failed to gain much support in Congress, and he has taken on a leadership role in the 2020 presidential campaign…
One person involved in the construction of the wall, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly, said Kushner has annoyed officials involved in the process because they said he displayed a lack of knowledge about the government procurement process and the “realities” of the project.
“So he took a much more hands-on role in figuring out, mile by mile, how to get more wall up,” this person said. “It didn’t help put wall up faster and cheaper. His interventions actually just created more inefficiency in the process.”…
After Kushner took control of the project, he elevated the regular meetings to executive-level gatherings at the White House requiring the attendance of Cabinet-level officials. He also demanded a new project plan with timetables and construction targets. Kushner has talked with other officials about securing money for the wall — even mentioning using military construction funds again, a notion that is likely to attract resistance from Capitol Hill…
In early January, Kushner asked then-acting CBP commissioner Kevin McAleenan whether closing border loopholes or building the wall would do the most to curb illegal immigration, and McAleenan said closing loopholes would do far more to curb immigration.
Still, Kushner has told others that a wall has to be built because his father-in-law promised it would be…
(Also, “closing border loopholes” is the provenance of Stephen Miller, the son Trump always wanted, and Jared’s too cautious to interfere in *that* relationship.)
Many of us have had the misfortune to be stuck, at some point in our careers, working for a guy like Jared: an ignorant, insufferable, and unfire-able blowhard who thinks his MBA-speak about ‘deliverables’ and ‘six-sigma concepts’ disguises his many inadequacies. He wants to be at the forefront of every new project, especially the big shiny expensive ones, which he inevitably complicates into failure by demanding employees take time away from their actual jobs to fill out forms quantifying copier-paper usage and attend motivational meetings.
Elizabeth Spiers used to be Editor-in-Chief at the NY Observer, before Kushner ran it into the ground:
Having been on the receiving end of Jared's "private sector" mentality, i can state with confidence that the wall will be severely under-resourced, and there's a good possibility Jared will run the entire project into the ground. https://t.co/wt5P0W7X93
— Elizabeth Spiers (@espiers) November 26, 2019
But the next time Javanka protests that they're not bigots and they disagree with Trump all the time, this should be Exhibit A that it's not true. You don't agree to do this if you're not a bigot.
— Elizabeth Spiers (@espiers) November 26, 2019
So maybe we do want him running the project? And Trump’s campaign too? Perhaps also allow him to craft the impeachment defense while he’s at it.
— Shawn Basak (@shawnbasak) November 26, 2019
On my first day of work as the editor in chief of the New York Observer, which had been acquired five years earlier by Jared Kushner, now the son-in-law and senior adviser to President Trump, I inherited an office and a desktop computer, both in fine but used condition. The computer was a recent-model Mac, but when I turned it on, it was inexplicably running Windows. I summoned our beleaguered IT guy to explain, and he informed me that it had belonged to Kushner, who liked the design of Apple products but preferred the Windows OS.
“So he was basically using a $2,500 desktop as a monitor?” I asked. The IT guy shrugged…