‘Shrinking’ Jared Kushner Tells WaPo: ‘We’re Here to Stay’
White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner indicated in an interview published Saturday that he is not going anywhere, amid rumors he and wife Ivanka Trump could soon be leaving the White House.
“We’re here to stay,” Kushner told the Washington Post. “At the current moment, we’re charging forward.”
Kushner was interviewed by the Post for an in-depth profile piece, titled “The Shrinking Jared Kushner.” The piece reported that Kushner, while still near the center of power, is “increasingly marginalized.”
“His once-sprawling White House portfolio, which came with walk-in privileges to the Oval Office, has been diminished to its original scope under Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, and he has notably receded from public view,” the Post’s Ashley Parker wrote.
The piece paints a dim picture of the man once given a broad portfolio including finding a solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Kushner has been increasingly in the crosshairs of FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian interference.
Kushner was also involved in a series of questionable decisions made by the Trump White House, including the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the call to back Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) in the Republican Alabama Senate primary.
In New York, he also has to grapple with the consequences of purchasing 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City in his former role as head of real-estate business Kushner Companies. In September, Vanity Fair published a devastating long-read on how the company put up just $500 million of the total $1.8 billion cost before the real-estate market crashed.
“The mortgage comes due on 666 in less than two years. If the Kushners don’t figure out something, they could lose their investment,” Vanity Fair’s Rich Cohen wrote. “Simply put, this Spruce Goose of a deal must be considered among the worst in the history of Manhattan real estate.”
Yet despite his problems in both D.C. and New York City, Kushner gave an upbeat assessment of his “shrinking” role to the Post and offered a bizarre version of the fable of the fox and the hedgehog:
During the campaign, I was more like a fox than a hedgehog. I was more of a generalist having to learn about and master a lot of skills quickly.
When I got to D.C., I came with an understanding that the problems here are so complex — and if they were easy problems, they would have been fixed before — and so I became more like the hedgehog, where it was more taking issues you care deeply about, going deep and devoting the time, energy and resources to trying to drive change.
But, on the question of whether or not he and Ivanka were staying in D.C., he pointed to Ivanka’s desire to buy a new house as an affirmation that he was, in fact, staying in the capital.
“My wife asked me the other day if we should be looking at new houses, so that’s a good sign,” he told the Post.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.