More Moving Parts

Andrew Harrer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
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Picking up on my argument from last night about how campaign era figures like Bannon, Flynn et al. (likely Russia scandal compromised figures, mind you) are being nudged to the side in favor of figures like McMaster, McGahn, Mattis, etc, (national security bureaucrats and party regulars) here’s a related point.

It was both sickening and comical when we saw that Jared Kushner, half-failed legacy real estate tycoon and Trump son-in-law, showing up in Iraq before the Secretary of State to confer with key leaders about the progress of the battle for Mosul. But there’s another dimension of it. (And in any case, the Secretary of State is emerging goober Rex Tillerson, so how bad is it?) Reporting suggests that this wasn’t Kushner insisting on a visit to Iraq to investigate matters for himself. It appears more like Pentagon leaders invited Kushner to come along, knowing that they can communicate to Trump via Kushner.

Now, this is a very unfortunate place for the country to be that the President’s statutory top military advisor must communicate with the President through his unripe and inexperienced son-in-law who has no experience in any of these matters. But that’s where we are. And communication in a corruptish, banana republic type way is better than not communicating at all – at least that appears to be the not unreasonable reasoning of people at the Pentagon. In other words, as embarrassing for the country as it is, I suspect it is yet another of those interrelated developments that I noted here – along with the demotion of Bannon, the shutting down of Cohen-Watnick, the President’s volte-face on Syria.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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