The Many, Many Hats Of Jared Kushner

TPM Illustration/ Getty Images
|
January 10, 2020 4:18 p.m.

Jared Kushner, equipped with an amorphous professional title and razor straight hair part, has long had a laughably large portfolio. 

He has been assigned chunks of policy as massive as “Middle East peace” and “reforming the criminal justice system.”

Now, per the New York Times, he’ll have even more on his plate. 

Kushner is taking over the reelection effort from the White House, organizing meetings and making decisions on staff and spending. He attended meetings with campaign officials in Mar-a-Lago, and made a rare public appearance at a December campaign press event. There, he announced that he is now a registered Republican. 

This means that he’ll have less time for some of the other tasks on his to-do list:

Solving Middle East Peace 

From the very beginning of President Donald Trump’s term, Kushner was charged with brokering a peace deal between Israel and Palestine. 

“If you can’t produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can,” Trump said at a dinner the night before his inauguration. 

That plan petered out amid delayed release dates, distrust from the Palestinians and turmoil surrounding the Israeli election. 

He has also become less involved, in part, due to the arrival of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Kushner, per the Times, trusts Pompeo more than his predecessors, and has surrounded him with allies like National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.

Kushner was also reportedly not in the Situation Room during the Iranian attacks on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers this week, signaling his shrinking role on the issue area.

Reforming the Criminal Justice System 

Kushner has actually been relatively more successful with this job than some of his others tasks. Kushner, with the unlikely help of Kim Kardashian West, shepherded through prison sentencing reform called the First Step Act. 

The effort involved flooding Trump’s schedule with briefings from his allies on the issue, steamrolling a reluctant Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and getting Democrats to hand Trump a bipartisan victory. 

Negotiating Trade with China 

Kushner played a big role in ending NAFTA, and became the point person for the U.S. in trade negotiations with China. 

The Trump administration is planning phase one of a trade deal with China for January, per Forbes, and averted a tariff deadline in December. It is not clear how active a role Kushner plays in the negotiations anymore. 

Overseeing Mexico Border Wall Construction 

Per the Washington Post, Kushner was chosen to oversee the construction of Trump’s border wall in November, and has since held biweekly meetings about its progress. Kushner has been pushing for progress to be expedited, in order to meet Trump’s mileage promise — 400 — by the end of 2020.

Some officials have criticized Kushner’s lack of understanding of a multi-agency project, and haste to obtain private land along the border despite the legal roadblocks. 

Modernizing Government Tech 

Kushner attended a summit with leaders in tech in June 2017 to make the case for consolidating and streamlining government records, some of which are stored on antiquated systems. 

Per TechCrunch, he did not explain specifics or security measures. 

Solving the Opioid Crisis

In March 2017, Trump named Kushner as head of the “White House Office of American Innovation,” charged with tackling massive problems like the opioid epidemic and veteran care. 

“We should have excellence in government,” Kushner told the Washington Post then. “The government should be run like a great American company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens.”

Latest News
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30