Tag Archives: Jared Kushner

What is Jared doing to our foreign policy?

One of Donald Trump’s “best people” is being heard once again.

He is former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who went from hero to zero in less than two years. Trump hired him as the nation’s top diplomat, heaping praise on the former ExxonMobil CEO as a man of unsurpassed brilliance; he booted him out, saying he was dumb as a stump.

But the former secretary of state is being heard again. He is telling interviewers about how the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner — a young man with zero diplomatic experience — pushed Tillerson aside to conduct foreign policy … in the Middle East, of all places!

Tillerson met with the House Foreign Relations Committee recently and gave a scathing report on working within the Trump White House. According to the Daily Beast: “One of the challenges I think that everyone had… to learn to deal with was the role, the unique situation with the president’s son-in-law [Kushner] and daughter [Ivanka] being part of the White House advisory team,” Tillerson said, according to the transcript The Daily Beast obtained. “There was not a real clear understanding of the role, responsibilities, authorities… which made it challenging for everyone, I think, in terms of how to deal with activities that might be undertaken by others that were not defined within the national-security process itself.”

I want to stress with all the energy I can muster that Jared Kushner has no business conducting sensitive negotiations with Middle East heads of government and heads of state. He is as totally unqualified to negotiate with anyone in that region as the president is to hold the office to which he was elected. Yet the president has given this hanger-on the responsibility of hammering out a comprehensive peace agreement in the Middle East?

Let’s face it, Rex Tillerson was right when he called Trump a “fu**ing moron,” an epithet he never has denied hurling in the president’s direction.

And the president has placed an empty suit in charge of one of the most challenging diplomatic tasks anywhere on Earth.

Amazing.

Yes, Jared, birtherism is ‘racist’ to the core

Jonathan Swan of Axios asked Jared Kushner as straightforward a question as possible: Is “birtherism” racist?

How did Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior policy adviser answer the direct question? “I wasn’t there,” Kushner said. Swan persisted. “I know you weren’t,” he said. “Is it racist?”

Kushner didn’t answer it again. One or two more times he avoided answering the question with the same lame non-answer, that he “wasn’t there.”

Well, I will answer it for him. Yes. Not just “yes,” but hell yes it’s racist!

It is the lie that the president kept alive for years, even after he ascended to the nation’s highest office. He sought to discredit the election of the nation’s first African-American president by fomenting the lie that he was ineligible to run for the office because he was born in a foreign country.

Oh, never mind that Barack Obama told us repeatedly he was born in August 1961 in Hawaii. Or that — reportedly at Trump’s insistence — he produced a birth certificate that validates what he had said all along.

Why did Donald Trump keep insisting that this racist mantra was true? Did he really believe it? Did he keep pitching it merely because of the racial makeup of the president of the United States?

The term never even was widely known prior to Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy. Therefore, to my ears, the “birtherism” was born of a mindset that adheres to a sick, racist policy.

Hmm. Imagine that.

Russia still poses existential threat

Even though Donald Trump and his grifter son-in-law, Jared Kushner, continue to downplay the threat Russia poses to our electoral system, FBI director Christopher Wray is telling us something profoundly different.

I choose to heed the words of Christopher Wray.

Wray calls the Russian threat a “365-days-a-year threat. And that has absolutely continued.”

Yes, the Russians hacked into our electoral system in 2016. They sowed discord among American voters. They spread “opposition research” material designed to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy.

The Russians are the baddest of a whole cast of bad actors.

Donald Trump just can’t bring himself to say it out loud. Neither can Kushner, who recently said that Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged “collusion” posed a greater threat to our democratic system than “a couple of Facebook ads.”

Memo to Kushner: Shut your mouth. And to Trump? Start defending our Constitution, which you pledged to do when you took the presidential oath.

The FBI director is among the cadre of national intelligence and counterterrorism experts who have confirmed what all of us know: The Russians are chiefly responsible for the cyber attack on our system. Mueller said so, too, in his voluminous report on collusion and obstruction of justice.

It simply amazes me that Donald Trump could appoint such a serious grownup to be FBI boss after firing another adult, James Comey. I’m glad he did give Christopher Wray this platform. What’s more, I am delighted to hear the FBI boss use that platform to speak the truth about what he believes happened in the 2016 presidential election, the 2018 midterm election and what likely will occur when we go to the polls again in 2020.

If only the commander in chief would pay attention.

Jared Kushner is 100 percent wrong! Imagine that!

Jared Kushner married well when he joined with Ivanka Trump all those years ago. Now the two of them are “senior advisers” to the president of the United States, Ivanka’s father, Donald J. Trump.

None of that, though, makes Jared Kushner an expert on anything to do with the federal government or with the tedious work of a special counsel.

Thus, when he says that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged “collusion” with Russians who hacked into our electoral system did more damage to the country than the Russian attack itself, he is pi**ing into the wind.

The young man doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Then again, maybe he does. Perhaps he is trying to avoid incurring the wrath of his father-in-law, who has this propensity for inflicting extreme hurt on those he feels are “disloyal” to him.

Kushner made the preposterous claim today, saying that all the Russians did was take a “couple of Facebook ads” in their effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Oh, no, Jared. They did a whole lot more than that.

They launched a systematic, calculated attack on our electoral system seeking to sow discord and to put Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, into the worst light possible.

Mueller concluded his investigation by saying that the Trump campaign did not conspire to collude with Russian goons. He also left the door wide open to further congressional inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice. Mueller climbed atop mountains of evidence and reached what I believe was a carefully considered conclusion.

Mueller’s narrative has been scathing in its characterization of the amorality, ineptness, deception and corruption of the Trump campaign.

To suggest, though, that the investigation has done more harm than the Russian attack on a fundamental element of our system of government is beyond absurd. Jared Kushner’s assertion is disgusting and reprehensible on its face.

I’ll stick with the description of Robert Mueller from Ty Cobb, one of the president’s former lawyers, who calls Mueller — a decorated combat Marine and former FBI director — an “American hero.”

Jared Kushner? He is nothing of the sort.

Security clearance plot thickens

So now the plot continues to thicken inside the White House.

A longtime White House staffer who works on issuing security clearances for key administration personnel has told congressional investigators that the Trump administration has issued top-secret clearances to individuals who had been denied them for a variety of reasons.

Tricia Newbold has worked under four administrations, Democrat and Republican, dating back to 2000. She said the Trump White House has been amazingly lax in its security-clearance procedures. Imagine that, will ya? Who knew?

As the New York Times has reported:

Described as both “no nonsense” and “intense” by people who have interacted with her during the clearance process, Ms. Newbold has served under four presidential administrations, beginning with the Clinton White House in 2000. Eventually she worked her way up to adjudications manager, a job that required her to help make determinations about the security clearances of administration employees. Her office is filled with holdovers from other administrations, and it is meant to be nonpartisan.

Yet in the Trump administration the office was filled with people who had little experience in vetting employees in the interest of national security, Ms. Newbold said in a nine-hour deposition with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform last week.

I keep thinking of presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, garnering clearances even though neither of them had a lick of national security experience prior to Daddy Trump becoming president of the United States.

The president denied running interference for either of them. Others have reported, though, that he most certainly did.

Again, from the NY Times:

John F. Kelly, the president’s former chief of staff, wrote in a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been “ordered” to give Mr. Kusher the top-secret clearance. In her interviews with the House committee, Ms. Newbold said that Mr. Kelly and Joe Hagin, the former deputy chief of staff, had been attentive to the national security issues she had tried to raise.

Gosh, do you think there might be a national security risk being presented inside the White House’s West Wing?

I do. It frightens me.

Jared used personal e-mail for government work? Lock him . . . up?

What’s going on here?

Republicans all over America have been chanting “Lock her up!” in reaction to Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail server when she was secretary of state. They’re still hollering it, although not in the numbers or with the volume they did in 2016 when Clinton was running for president of the United States.

Now there’s this: Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Donald Trump has been using a private, personal server to send e-mails relating to government business.

More questions arise

Do we start the chant to “Lock him up!”?

The info comes from Abbe Lowell, Kushner’s lawyer, who has told the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee about Kushner’s use of personal e-mail servers to conduct official government business.

I’m straining to hear something — anything — from the GOP side of the political divide. I’m listening for chants to toss the president’s daughter’s husband into the slammer.

Silence! That’s what I’m hearing.

Ivanka and Jared privileged? No-o-o-o!

I have sought to keep quiet about Ivanka Trump, daughter of the president of the United States. I guess it’s time to speak about her.

It’s not that I relish taking shots at a president’s daughter. Ivanka Trump, though, isn’t your run-of-the-mill presidential “child.” She is a senior policy adviser to her father, as is her husband, Jared Kushner.

The pair now have become subjects of a book that details how they parlayed their kinship to the president to acquire enormous power within the West Wing of the White House and how they attained that power with no discernible credentials — other than Ivanka’s father is the president.

Kushner Inc.

The book is titled “Kushner, Inc.” and chronicles how both of them were the children of domineering fathers who greased their entry into the business world. The book, though, does say that Donald Trump was a “disengaged” father during Ivanka’s coming of age years.

Vicky Ward wrote the book and it is sure to bring out the Trump critics who will note that Ivanka and Jared are given tasks for which they have no qualifications. Ivanka supposedly works on job creation for women; Jared is in charge of forging a Middle East peace.

The way I see it, Jared Kushner is the one who is farther out of his league. He has zero credentials negotiating a diplomatic solution to centuries of warfare among people with historic hatred for each other.

Yep. They’re grifters. Their benefactor, the president, has said that qualified individuals are banging on the door seeking to work within his administration. He calls them the “best people.”

Ivanka and Jared do not qualify by any measure to be of the quality required for the access they have to the nation’s most sensitive secrets.

Gratuitous Liar in Chief strikes again

Donald Trump has shown just how incapable he is of telling the truth.

The president of the United States has enormous power within the executive branch of government. He knows it. I know it. You know it. He can do virtually anything he wants, providing he isn’t breaking the law.

Granting security clearances, even to those who don’t deserve them, is fully within the president’s power as the nation’s chief executive.

Why, though, does the president of the United States — Donald John Trump — have to lie about whether he interceded to get his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance?

He said he didn’t do it. He insisted he didn’t force anyone to grant Kushner such a clearance.

But . . . but, he has the power! He would be acting totally within his authority to do so. And he did do what he is empowered to do. By lying about whether he intervened on Kushner’s behalf, the president has doubled his trouble.

Sure, he could be criticized for greasing the clearance for Kushner. Why? Because his son-in-law has no security credentials. He doesn’t deserve access to the kind of information he gets with such a clearance.

Now, though, the president is getting pummeled because he is demonstrating his penchant for gratuitous lying.

Now it’s Jared Kushner in the hot seat . . . sheesh!

Good grief! My head is hurting.

As if the scandals surrounding the president’s possible violation of the Emoluments Clause, the Robert Mueller investigation, the hush money payments to a porn star weren’t enough — now we hear that the First Son-in-Law, Jared Kushner is the midst of yet another potential scandal.

Donald Trump said he didn’t do anything to grease it for Kushner to get a top-secret security clearance to work in the White House. Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, said the same thing.

Then comes reporting that — yep! — the president did, in fact, order that Kushner get the security clearance. The president threw his weight around to assure that Kushner, the guy with zero government experience or exposure, would get the top clearance offered to key White House advisers.

When does this baloney stop? When do we stop being jarred by the president’s astonishing lies?

I think I know when it’ll happen. That will occur when Donald Trump walks out of the White House for the final time.

Oh, how I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Tread carefully, Rep. Castro

Come on, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro. Just because some folks on the other side toss out unsubstantiated accusations, you do not have license to do the same.

Castro, a Texas Democrat, has said — without sources or evidence — that Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, might have had a hand in the gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Castro doesn’t offer a shred of evidence to back up his contention, but he made it anyway in an interview with CNN.

Khashoggi was murdered by Saudis at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. The Saudis say he died in a fistfight; the Turks, though, say he was dismembered while he was still alive. His body was cut to pieces and disposed of.

Now we have a U.S. representative alleging that Jared Kushner played a role in this?

Give me a break.

This kind of innuendo has gotten out of hand. CNN anchor Poppy Harlow had to remind Castro that no media have reported what he has alleged, but Castro answered with some vague response that there has been “some reporting” on it. He didn’t cite the source.

According to the Texas Tribune: “To be clear, I did not intend to accuse Jared Kushner of orchestrating the killing … But based on several press reports, the close relationship between Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman is a source of concern for the U.S. intelligence community and those of us who want a transparent American foreign policy,” (Castro) said in a statement to the Texas Tribune.

Read the Tribune story here.

This is ridiculous!

I am left to say only that Rep. Castro should be ashamed to be joining this game of gossip and innuendo.