Liberty Expose: Jared Kushner Has A Problem
Jared Kushner has a problem. Earlier this week it was reported that multiple White House officials have lost their temporary security clearance, most notably among them being senior advisor and son-in-law to Donald Trump, Jared Kushner.
The man responsible for stripping Mr. Kushner of his security clearance is White House chief of staff John Kelly. The reversal of security clearances comes from the revelations that one of the White House officials with a top-secret clearance, Rob Porter, was involved in domestic abuse – a disqualifier for a top-secret clearance.
Jared Kushner’s rise to White House prominence occurred due to his marriage to President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. It is not uncommon for presidents to bring their family along for the ride, but traditionally, family members were ambitions politicians themselves.
The loss of top secret security clearance is no small matter, should the allegations be true. The president speaks as though Mr. Kushner were a shadow secretary of state. When question on the issue, the president shifted the narrative by complimenting Kushner’s role in the administration, specifically in regards to his role in the Middle East and the World at large.
The labeling of Jared Kushner as the shadow secretary of state may very well be true – the actual secretary of state, a man whom you may not have heard of named Rex Tillerson, has almost a non-extant presence within the administration. The only major news cycle pertaining to Mr. Tillerson occurred after false rumors of his imminent dismissal from his office. Rex Tillerson has spent his time in the Trump administration living in the shadows of Jared Kushner, John Kelly, Ivanka Trump, James Mattis, and most notably, Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.
Should the allegations be true, that could mean that the de facto foreign minister has been stripped of the ability to access top secret intelligence – a problematic obstacle, considering the nuclear nature of such a position. Intelligence necessary for foreign policy will be unavailable, even the daily Presidential Briefs on national security will be out of reach for Mr. Kushner.
Like much of the court politics of the Trump administration, the truth is shrouded by the president’s habitually destructive means of operating, the maneuvering of more strategic administration officials, and the stretched antagonistic speculations of media figures and administration opponents (but I repeat myself).
It has been reported that the downgrading of Kushner’s security clearance has caused a rift between him and John Kelly. The lacking of a top-secret clearance will prevent Kushner from attending the many policy meetings in which top secret clearance is a prerequisite. His absence will cause Kushner to lose influence within the administration while other officials, namely John Kelly, are able to feel the gap.
The suspension is not indefinite – at least for now. The suspension will last until the FBI has completed their background check of Mr. Kushner, which some reports estimate will take a month. The explanation given for why the background check is taking so long to complete is that there is a multitude of administration officials in need of a security clearance in order to do their job, so law enforcement agencies have had to contend with a backlog of application. One wonders why a senior policy advisor and defacto foreign minister must wait in line behind other officials.
Mr. Kushner is still under suspicion due the Russian collusion news cycle that continues to persist in the media. Kushner has admitted to meeting with Russian contacts during his father-in-law’s 2016 campaign, but has avowed that no wrongdoing was done. This will continue to complicate the matter, perhaps even leading to Mr. Kushner not receiving his security clearance again, though that scenario is unlikely.
What will happen is that there will be an extended period of time in which one of the powers within the Trump administration is knee-capped, opening the door to a president who has relied heavily on his cabinet, especially in Mr. Kushner’s primary field, foreign affairs.
This does not amount to a scandal as one might be lead to believe. At best, or perhaps naïvely, this is security protocol, and Jared Kushner has fallen under the command of bureaucratic protocol. At worst, if one were to look at this after reading The Prince, this was a power move within the administration by a John Kelly. As is to be expected with the president, Mr. Trump has remained distant from there conflict – assuming there is one.
Maybe, like during his WrestleMania days, he prefers to watch opponents go after each other, as opposed to taking sides – and only enters the fight on his own behalf. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the current recipient of Trump’s dissatisfaction.
Either way, observers should hesitate before making judgements on the inner politics of the administration. Speculation, combined with antagonism or partisanship, depending on which side one is on, clouds the truth. Reports are often leaked by people with agenda, and written by people with agendas. Read the collection of notional questions and conjectural speculations by hypothetical journalist Michael Wolff, and his informant, the former iron-fist-of-nationalism-turned-unemployed-wretch Steve Bannon in Fire and Fury to understand what this looks like.
More reporting is needed before judgement can be passed in this situation. Should the rumors be true of a power conflict, then power momentum might have swung in the White House. And if it turns our just to be a measure taken for protocol, then take pleasure in the normalcy of procedure. Either way, Jared Kushner has a tough road ahead.