It seemed inevitable that President Donald Trump’s search for a new chief of staff, after whiffing on multiple candidates to replace John Kelly, would come full circle back to the Trump family—and, predictably, to Jared Kushner. Here’s how bad things have gotten in the Trump administration: They are having trouble filling one of the most powerful posts in the country. To be fair, at this point, with special counsel Robert Mueller dropping legal bombs with increasing frequency and potency, taking the job would affix your face and career to a presidency that appears to be sinking into infamy. Whatever the motivations two years ago at the outset of the Trump term, the calculus has clearly changed for top Republican talent. Not to mention, the job will likely be an expensive one for whoever takes it, as anyone that close to Trump will surely require extensive legal representation to stay on the right side of the law.
So where does that leave Trump? HuffPost (and others) reported Thursday that Trump is truly considering his son-in-law for the post and met with Kushner Wednesday to discuss taking over for Kelly. There are conflicting reports on how interested Kushner is in the prospect of moving over from his current role as senior adviser to the president. Reuters quoted an anonymous White House source saying Kushner wasn’t that into it. On the other hand, similarly placed sources told HuffPost that “Kushner has been pushing his own candidacy with Trump, citing his work on a criminal justice reform package and a claimed ability to work with Democrats.”
There are, of course, questions of nepotism, but that hasn’t fazed Trump in the past. And, in many ways, despite being historically unqualified for the job, the real estate developer is the perfect fit for the current Trump White House. Kushner is already knee-deep in the muck of Mueller’s investigation such that huddling closer to Trump wouldn’t necessarily make him more toxic than he was before. Also, Kushner seems 100 percent certain not to offer any substantive pushback to whatever bonkers thing Trump is doing or saying. Trump would surely like that.
Will we see Kushner as Trump’s Leo McGarry? It’s hard to imagine a less formidable twosome in the White House Situation Room dealing with a crisis, of which there are many brewing, but look around the Trump administration—extreme incompetence is this president’s M.O.