The Slatest

Jared Kushner Tapped as Trump Senior Adviser

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump, walks through the lobby of Trump Tower on Nov. 18, 2016, in New York City.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and campaign confidant, has reportedly been tapped as a senior adviser in Trump’s White House. According to Politico co-founder Mike Allen on Morning Joe on Monday morning, “The lawyers have found that he can go in, he’ll be senior adviser.” Allen went on to say that Kushner is already organizing the details of who to name “for his own staff” and will instantly become “one of the biggest players in the West Wing, and therefore one of the most powerful people in the world.”

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It had been speculated that a role in the Trump administration could run afoul of a federal anti-nepotism law, although, as reported by NPR’s Alisa Chang in November, it’s not clear whether that law includes the White House. 

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Kushner, husband of Trump’s daughter Ivanka, was one of Trump’s key advisers during the campaign. His influence is the subject of this week’s New York magazine cover story. New York’s Andrew Rice writes:

During the latter stages of the presidential race, when all the so-called smart people in politics and media were preparing to shunt Trump rudely from the stage, he relied on Kushner the most. “He prefers the soothing, whispery voice of his son-in-law,” the Times reported in a prematurely funereal dispatch on November 6. Two nights later, as Mr. Trump learned he would soon be President Trump, it was Kushner’s voice that was screening the calls to his suddenly all-important cell phone. When Trump paid his first postelection visit to the White House, Kushner accompanied him, taking photos of the Oval Office with his iPhone and strolling with President Obama’s chief of staff. Now he and Ivanka were preparing to move to Washington, where they reportedly are set to occupy a $5.6 million mansion with their three children.

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With Kushner headed to the White House, the question of Ivanka’s role in the family business becomes even more important. Trump still has not detailed how he plans to separate himself from the Trump Organization and canceled a mid-December press conference where he was supposed to address the issue. He has scheduled a new presser for this Wednesday.

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Kushner has his own business interests. He is a real estate developer and the publisher of the New York Observer. In July, Observer writer Dana Schwartz wrote an open letter to Kushner criticizing his role in the Trump campaign in the wake of Trump’s retweeting of an anti-Semitic meme:

You went to Harvard, and hold two graduate degrees. Please do not condescend to me and pretend you don’t understand the imagery of a six-sided star when juxtaposed with money and accusations of financial dishonesty. I’m asking you, not as a “gotcha” journalist or as a liberal but as a human being: how do you allow this? Because, Mr. Kushner, you are allowing this.

According to reports, Kushner is trying to sell the Observer.

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