New Front In White House Civil War as Kushner Asserts Authority at NSC

Officials say Kushner taking unprecedented role to interfere in foreign policy matters

By Adam Kredo, NEW BEACON

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White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner is leading an unprecedented effort to meddle in the White House’s National Security Council, causing mayhem for senior staff who say the president’s son-in-law is interfering in key foreign policy debates, according to Trump administration officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

Kushner has taken aggressive action to micro-manage the NSC, overshadowing even recently installed National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, according to sources both inside and outside the White House who described Kushner’s behavior as highly unusual and damaging to the country’s national security infrastructure.

Never before has a White House permitted such a figure to intervene in the NSC, which is traditionally given leeway to investigate foreign policy matters and bring advice to the president.

Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon described wide-ranging frustration at the NSC over Kushner’s influence over some of the most important foreign policy portfolios, such as Iraq, Israel, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and China, among others.

Senior NSC staff are finding their hands tied when it comes to performing even perfunctory duties, such as talking points and statements on high profile issues that must go through Kushner for approval. Sources who spoke the Free Beacon described this level of involvement as kneecapping the NSC and contributing to its difficulties formulating policy.

“Kushner is meddling in a lot of things,” according to one NSC official who spoke to the Free Beacon only on background. “Such direct control of foreign policy from the West Wing has never happened before. It just creates a lot of drama. People just don’t know how to deal with it. We’re respectful of his position, but it’s confusing the policymaking process.”

Officials working at the NSC, State Department, and Department of Defense “are not happy that Jared is so powerful in foreign policy,” said one White House official. “They are expected to implement the president’s agenda, but have no input or ability to get ideas in front of Jared. It’s a one-man show and that’s creating a lot of frustration.”

The installation of Dina Powell, a confidant of Kushner’s wife Ivanka, to the NSC is said to have been orchestrated by Kushner in order to solidify his power over the foreign policy organization, sources said.

This helps Kushner keep tabs on the NSC’s day-to-day operations, another move that is said to be causing conflict between the NSC and the West Wing.

Kushner, in many ways, has even overshadowed McMcaster, who sources described as seeking to avoid infighting in the White House. This has only minimized his power on the NSC, officials said.

On the other hand, Bannon’s team is said to be more respectful and willing to defer to the organization as West Wing staffers have traditionally done under past administrations.

“Jared has been pegged as the ‘shadow secretary of state,'” said the White House official. “But in a way he’s kind of also the shadow national security adviser and secretary of defense.”

The situation has weakened the NSC and caused internal confusion as to what exactly the administration’s policy is when it comes to a range of key issues.

The Free Beacon highlighted this issue in a report earlier this year about the Trump administration’s inability to provide direction over key aspects of the Iran nuclear deal, specifically the U.S. sale of airplanes to Tehran.

“On routine issues, we still don’t know what our policy is,” said the NSC official. “So when we get basic requests from foreign counterparts, we can’t weigh in authoritatively.”

April 13, 2017 | Comments Off on New Front In White House Civil War as Kushner Asserts Authority at NSC | 80 views

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9 Comments / 0 Comments

  1. Isn’t it shocking the President seems to think the law actually means what it says?

    ““…Such direct control of foreign policy from the West Wing has never happened before. It just creates a lot of drama. People just don’t know how to deal with it. We’re respectful of his position, but it’s confusing the policymaking process.”

    Article 1, Section 2, U.S. Constitution

    “1: The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

  2. May not be ideal, but sure as hell beats having Valerie Jarett in the same position.
    And why should we care what the State Dept. thinks……..about anything? If they’re upset about something, it must be a good thing.

  3. Is it still Jared-bashing week? Or just whining from staffers who thought their job was to write bullet points for the meeting about the next meeting?

  4. Kushner doesn’t know anything. He couldn’t even get into Harvard without his father donating $50,000. He sold his family’s assets when his father was in jail in exchange for a building on 5th Avenue at the height of the real estate market. His philosophy? Buy high sell low. This is the boy now in charge of everything. He needs to be put in his place.

  5. :
    The NSC is composed of a bunch of warmongering, government bureaucrats.

    They’d push for a pre-emptive, US-led strike on some planet in a distant galaxy, if they thought they could get away with it.

    The NSC needs to be ABOLISHED.

  6. There certainly are a wide range of comments about Kushner; but nobody here seems to actually know much about him. His residence in Manhattan is appaently the “666” building:

    Does that mean anything to anyone? Maybe it’s not obvious enough. What does God have to do, to get our attention? carve Kushner’s face in Mount Rushmore? (as is befitting the one who will likely be our next President).

    When Bannon called him a “cuck”, Kushner retorted blandly, “I’m not called a “cuck”. People call me “Kush”, as in:

    Gen. 10:
    8. And [K]ush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

    With all those subtle and not-so-subtle hints from the Holy One, I think this fellow deserves more than a cursory glance.

  7. Are the mass media again involved in fake new malpractice? Who cares of the feud in the Trump circle!!! He is a big boy. He knows what he wants for the country. Hopefully he won’t allow anyone to back-stab him as Ryan did with the healthcare bill. The powerful“lobbies” must be the reason why it is difficult to come up with a good bill.

  8. @ Dean Blake:
    “How Jared Kushner Won Trump The White House”…

    “This story appears in the December 20, 2016 issue of Forbes.”

    “…It’s hard to overstate and hard to summarize Jared’s role in the campaign,” says billionaire Peter Thiel, the only significant Silicon Valley figure to publicly back Trump. “If Trump was the CEO, Jared was effectively the chief operating officer.”

    “Jared Kushner is the biggest surprise of the 2016 election,” adds Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, who helped design the Clinton campaign’s technology system. “Best I can tell, he actually ran the campaign and did it with essentially no resources.”

    No resources at the beginning, perhaps. Underfunded throughout, for sure. But by running the Trump campaign–notably, its secret data operation–like a Silicon Valley startup, Kushner eventually tipped the states that swung the election. And he did so in manner that will change the way future elections will be won and lost. President Obama had unprecedented success in targeting, organizing and motivating voters. But a lot has changed in eight years. Specifically social media. Clinton did borrow from Obama’s playbook but also leaned on traditional media. The Trump campaign, meanwhile, delved into message tailoring, sentiment manipulation and machine learning. The traditional campaign is dead, another victim of the unfiltered democracy of the Web–and Kushner, more than anyone not named Donald Trump, killed it…That achievement, coupled with the personal trust Trump has in him, uniquely positions Kushner to be a power broker of the highest order for at least four years. “Every president I’ve ever known has one or two people he intuitively and structurally trusts,” says former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who has known Trump socially for decades and is currently advising the president-elect on foreign policy issues. “I think Jared might be that person.”

    [Typo in article: should read, “in a manner” not “in manner” SZ]

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