Donald Trump’s lawyers are beginning to see his son-in-law and top White House aide Jared Kushner as a real problem and they reportedly want Kushner walled off from the pr*sident. Perhaps that’s because of interactions like the one in which Kushner recently informed Trump of his latest amendment to his SF86 security clearance form—the update that led to the bombshell report on the meeting he, Don Jr., and Paul Manafort took with the Kremlin-connected lawyer promising to dish dirt on Hillary Clinton. NYT writes of the Trump-Kushner powwow:
Mr. Kushner played down the significance of the meeting and omitted significant details, according to two people who were briefed on the exchange. They said Mr. Kushner informed the president that he had met with a Russian foreign national, and that while he had to report the name, it would not cause a problem for the administration.
Another official said Mr. Kushner’s assurance to the president was based on the fact that nothing came of the June meeting.
Kushner is either fabulously naive or he totally bamboozled a father-in-law, who doesn’t have the strongest association with reality to begin with. Just guessing it’s the latter of those two, since Kushner’s lawyers were almost certainly behind his latest disclosure and they knew exactly how disastrous it would be. But getting the meeting out there and hanging it around Don Jr.’s neck rather than Kushner’s is undoubtedly better for Kushner than the story getting told some other way or at some later date—like just before Kushner testifies before Congress, which he has offered to do.
Anyway, Trump appears to have bought it and was totally blindsided by the uproar that has engulfed his White House ever since. But after taking to Twitter Wednesday morning to call inquiries into the meeting his son admitted taking a “Witch Hunt,” Trump’s spirits have lifted. All fixed! He now believes “the worst appears to be over.”
By midday Wednesday, the mercurial president was telling friends and advisers that he believed the situation had improved. “I think this is getting better,” he said to one group of aides, hours before he was set to take off for a trip to France to mark Bastille Day.
Has Kushner been whispering sweet nothingburgers in his ear again? Anyway, enjoy your trip, Trump! This Russia thing will be waiting for you when you get back.