Presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner has been made the “de facto project manager” of President Donald Trump’s expansive border wall aspirations, the Washington Post reported Monday night.
But the decision to add another task to White House senior adviser’s agenda — he’s already responsible for Middle East peace and modernizing the entire federal government, among many other things — has been met with skepticism from even allies of the President.
“My hope is Jared can put a more laser focus on the project and the process,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND).
“Maybe he can light a fire under the responsible agencies, but if recent history is any indication, he will get frustrated before he gets results.”
The senator wasn’t alone.
“So he took a much more hands-on role in figuring out, mile by mile, how to get more wall up,” one unnamed person involved with the construction of the wall told the Post of Kushner. “It didn’t help put wall up faster and cheaper. His interventions actually just created more inefficiency in the process.”
Trump has promised to construct 400 miles of new border wall by Election Day 2020, which would require a blistering pace (and hundreds of lawsuits to acquire private land along the border).
His administration has completed 83 miles so far, according to government records, but almost all of that has been construction to replace existing barriers with something more formidable.
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told the Post that Kushner “doesn’t need to know the intricacies of the wall” because he “understands building stuff” and construction timelines.
Still, Morgan acknowledged, it was a big task.
“There are very real concerns,” he told the Post. “We’re being sued on a regular basis on multiple fronts. Land acquisition is a very, very challenging process. We’re trying to become more efficient and get more done. There are real challenges.”