The New York Times reported Saturday that President Donald Trump’s relationship with his son-in-law Jared Kushner has deteriorated over the past few months, and that the president now routinely complains that “Jared hasn’t been so good for me” and that he could have had NFL star Tom Brady as a son-in-law instead. (Short-lived White House communications direct Anthony Scaramucci has claimed that Ivanka Trump and Brady briefly dated.)
Trump has reportedly told his friends and aides that he wishes both Kushner and his daughter Ivanka would return to New York.
Yet the Times reports that because Kushner has outlasted many of his critics and rivals in an administration plagued by factionalism, infighting, and gossip, he isn’t likely to head for the exits anytime soon. On the contrary, he may soon take a more public role, especially now that his security clearance has been restored after months of suspension due to questions about his foreign contacts and financial ties.
Kushner and Ivanka, however, have made little-to-no progress on the policy areas assigned to them, including the Middle East peace process and paid family leave.
Of his detractors, who have criticized him for being out of his depth, Kushner told the New York Times that they are simply upset with his effort to protect his father-in-law.
“Those who have tried to undermine the president have found me to be an obstacle,” he said.
The list of aides, advisers and employees who have left the White House after clashing with Kushner runs long, including Trump’s first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski; his first chief of staff Reince Priebus; his former chief strategist Steve Bannon; White House counsel Don McGahn; the first head of the presidential transition, Chris Christie; former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, and his longtime lawyer Marc Kasowitz.
Whether current chief of staff John Kelly — a critic of Kushner’s who has sought to limit his and Ivanka’s access to Trump — will join that list remains to be seen.