President Donald Trump blames Jared Kushner for some of the decisions that led to special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment, according to a report in Vanity Fair.
Kushner is both a senior White House adviser and Trump’s son-in-law, but the president reportedly complained about him in phone calls to former chief strategist Steve Bannon and longtime adviser Roger Stone.
indictments handed down as a part of Mueller’s investigation should be a “wake up call” for the White House.
Mueller’s indictments on Monday were the first charges to come out of the months-long investigation into Russian election meddling.
With the Russia investigation led by special counsel delivering indictments this week, Trump has blamed Kushner for such decisions as forcing Michael Flynn out of his job as White House national security adviser and firing James Comey as FBI director.
The firing of Comey directly resulted in Mueller’s appointment.
Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman wrote that Trump told former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon that he blamed Kushner “for his role in the decisions, specifically the firings of” Flynn and Comey.
Then in a conversation with longtime adviser Roger Stone, Trump agreed with Stone’s assessment that Kushner was providing the president with bad political advice, someone familiar with the conversation told Vanity Fair.
“Jared is the worst political adviser in the White House in modern history,” Sam Nunberg, an associate of Stone who was a Trump campaign operative, told Vanity Fair. “I’m only saying publicly what everyone says behind the scenes at Fox News, in conservative media, and the Senate and Congress.”
Kushner was at a June 2016 meeting set up by Donald Trump Jr. with a Russian lawyer and former Soviet Army counter intelligence officer at Trump Tower. That meeting was also attended by then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was indicted on 12 felony counts as a part of Mueller’s probe.
Emails showed that Trump Jr. was promised information from the Russian government that would hurt Hillary Clinton, though it was unclear if any material about the Democratic presidential candidate was ever provided to the Republicans.
Kushner was forced to resubmit security clearance forms several times because he repeatedly failed to disclose foreign contacts and he caused a flap by using a private email account to discuss some government business while working in the White House.
It is possible that the Vanity Fair story was planted by Bannon or Stone, in order to deflect from their responsibility for the Russia scandal, .
A 36-year-old Harvard graduate, Kushner is the oldest son of real-estate developer Charles Kushner, and he is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
During the 2016 Trump presidential campaign, Kushner helped develop and run Trump’s digital media strategy. On January 9, 2017, Kushner was named as a senior White House advisor. He consequently resigned as CEO of Kushner Companies, and as publisher of the Observer.
From the outset of his father-in-law’s presidential campaign, Kushner was the architect of Trump’s digital, online, and social media campaigns, enlisting talent from Silicon Valley to run a 100-person social-media team dubbed “Project Alamo.”
Kushner had two undisclosed phone calls with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, between April and November 2016, and those contacts have come under scrutiny as part of the larger federal investigation into possible Kremlin interference in the election.
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