Oh, they went to Jared.
They, being all the foreign governments gleefully discussing how they could manipulate White House senior adviser Jared Kushner to their political advantage.
That was the big scoop that blew up on Tuesday, about the time we were hearing that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had stripped Kushner’s security clearance from “Top Secret” to just “Secret” – and that’s a pretty significant drop.
Kelly basically announced to the world that Jared Kushner is NOT to be trusted, and he’s probably right.
Intercepted intelligence revealed government officials from Mexico, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and China all saw Kushner as an easy target, due mainly to his desperate need for money, in order to keep his family business afloat.
Remember last year when there was concern that his family was pimping his access to the president at meetings with wealthy Chinese investors, promising them special visa status, in return for investments in their company?
Then there’s the curious fact that of all the White House aides floating about, Kushner has requested to review far more intelligence information than anyone else in the administration – even that outside of his purview as senior adviser.
A more cynical observer might look at doting Daddy Trump’s nepotism being exploited as a means for his favored child, Ivanka, and her hubby to benefit their interests, outside of the government.
Still, with all this going on, Axios is reporting today that the Trump family are circling the wagons around Kushner, and Kelly, already rumored to be on the president’s bad side, is being blamed for the troubles Kushner is having.
According to one White House official:
“Javanka and Kelly are locked in a death match. Two enter. Only one survives.”
Also, from the New York Times:
“[H]is official portfolio inside the West Wing, especially with regard to his globe-trotting foreign affairs work on behalf of President Trump, is expected to be sharply reduced.”
It’s true. President Trump gave his son-in-law a wide and diverse agenda, covering everything from the Opioid crisis to achieving peace in the Middle East. Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, insists that this demotion in access will not affect the work he’s doing.
That being said, yesterday’s report of the intercepted intelligence does have officials sweating and looking back over the past year and international relations.
“Officials in the White House were concerned that Kushner was ‘naive and being tricked’ in conversations with foreign officials, some of whom said they wanted to deal only with Kushner directly and not more experienced personnel.”
Should we be concerned?
I’m going to say, “yes.”
And if we see or hear of things becoming tougher for John Kelly in the coming weeks, we know why.