The Trump administration has been dysfunctional from the start. The list of departures has been record-setting, and Trump’s business style has proven to be beyond ineffective when it comes to public administration.
One case in point is the matter of Donald Trump’s children, or, more specifically, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner.
While both have been a cause for bad press since the very start of Donald Trump’s White House tenure, Jared Kushner in particular has been under fire lately. That’s because his security clearance was recently downgraded after being put on temporary status for over a year.
Kushner has massive debt, and has had to update disclosure forms again and again and again.
He also failed to list over 100 foreign contacts on his original clearance application.
‘President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, had his security clearance downgraded last week from a top-secret level to a secret level — meaning he lost access to classified materials and can no longer view the president’s daily intelligence briefing.
‘Kushner’s security clearance has come under heavy scrutiny in recent weeks, in part because of the Rob Porter scandal but also because Kushner failed to disclose more than 100 foreign contacts on his initial clearance application.’
The result, an increased concentration on Kushner in the press, has “frustrated” Trump, according to the New York Times.
‘Yet Mr. Trump is also frustrated with Mr. Kushner, whom he now views as a liability because of his legal entanglements, the investigations of the Kushner family’s real estate company and the publicity over having his security clearance downgraded, according to two people familiar with his views. In private conversations, the president vacillates between sounding regretful that Mr. Kushner is taking arrows and annoyed that he is another problem to deal with.
‘Privately, some aides have expressed frustration that Mr. Kushner and his wife, the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, have remained at the White House, despite Mr. Trump at times saying they never should have come to the White House and should leave. Yet aides also noted that Mr. Trump has told the couple that they should keep serving in their roles, even as he has privately asked Mr. Kelly for his help in moving them out.’
It’s not the first time Trump has been upset about scrutiny on his son-in-law. Kushner has been at odds with Chief of Staff John Kelly since Kelly was brought on and cut off Kushner’s easy access to Trump. He also played a role in shutting down some of Kushner’s pet projects. Reports as long ago as last August indicate that Trump is often upset with the attention Kushner and Ivanka get in Washington D.C., and has wondered if they should return to New York.
Kushner’s downgraded security clearance is, in itself, an effective demotion.
It remains to be seen whether Trump will pressure his son-in-law from the White House, however; Donald Trump seems to prize perceived loyalty over sense, and with the departure of Hope Hicks and increased heat from the Mueller investigation, he might want all the comforting allies he can get close at hand.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images