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Jared Kushner's problems are only just beginning

Jared Kushner's security clearance downgrade is not the end of the story, unless you are talking about his diplomatic...

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 1:27 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2018 1:27 PM

Jared Kushner's security clearance downgrade is not the end of the story, unless you are talking about his diplomatic career. That is over.

Despite the claim by both White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Kushner's lawyer that "the new clearance policy will not affect Mr. Kushner's ability to continue to do the very important work he has been assigned by the President," it will do exactly that.

The reliance on Jared Kushner as the primary negotiator for everything from Middle East peace to trade deals to the United States' relationships in Asia has been dying a slow death over the last year due to a combination of his lack of experience, lack of respect from world leaders and the actions of his boss and father-in-law, President Donald Trump. The official loss of his interim top security clearance should come as no surprise. A valid question the White House should have to answer is why it took so long.

After working in the White House on and off for eight years and traveling around the world for two years with an actual top diplomat, Secretary of State John Kerry, I can confirm without a doubt that it is not possible to be on the front lines of diplomacy as the chief representative of the United States without the highest level of security clearance.

Why? Because a top-level security clearance gives access to information and insights into foreign powers, their leaders and their thinking about ongoing issues that gives chief negotiators a leg up. And it is impossible to do the job of chief negotiator or chief representative for the president without it.

We don't actually know the real reason for the downgrade, but Kushner's portfolio changes are the least of his problems.

If you believe White House spin, the memo sent to White House staff, including to Jared Kushner, that informed them that their security clearance had been downgraded, was all part of an effort by Chief of Staff John Kelly to take a significant step in clearing the deck of high-level employees with interim security clearances.

Donald Trump had the power to override that decision -- but he didn't. And Kushner's father-in-law, the President, hasn't exactly shied away from breaking the rules, conflicting his own public commitments or making decisions that are clearly conflicts of interest. But he didn't on Kushner's behalf, even though it will significantly reduce his portfolio.

The more likely reasons for Kushner's downgrade affect far more than his job responsibilities.

New reports surfaced on Tuesday that not one, but four foreign powers -- the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico -- had been discussing ways to influence Kushner. Why? Because of his lack of experience, knowledge and his financial vulnerabilities.

Jared Kushner's problems are only just beginning

Revelations like these would prompt immediate calls for a brand new congressional investigation in almost any other administration.

This is further public fuel for the investigation that is already ongoing under Robert Mueller.

Not because there are new specifics about Russia's influence or contacts, but because these reports confirmed that Jared Kushner is a prime candidate for foreign powers to target and to attempt to influence. Because it shows that his naivet-, lack of experience, poor judgment and financial issues had more than just the Russians licking their chops at the prospect of getting closer to Trump.

Jared Kushner's pursuit of Middle East peace may be dead. But questions about his contacts and engagements with foreign powers are just beginning.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 441935

Reported Deaths: 5885
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin918591461
Ramsey39405729
Dakota32551324
Anoka30638354
Washington19827221
Stearns17686184
St. Louis13453237
Scott1178693
Wright11485101
Olmsted1024870
Sherburne812364
Carver686636
Clay643278
Rice595266
Kandiyohi551069
Blue Earth533833
Crow Wing476573
Otter Tail449860
Chisago446331
Benton414885
Winona383946
Douglas370366
Nobles364646
Mower358026
Goodhue340757
Polk326754
McLeod321644
Morrison308743
Beltrami305746
Lyon298735
Itasca281143
Becker279438
Isanti279440
Carlton276942
Steele26879
Pine263813
Freeborn237219
Todd230029
Nicollet222136
Brown212334
Mille Lacs211645
Le Sueur206515
Cass203823
Meeker197433
Waseca187515
Martin168226
Wabasha16712
Roseau164916
Hubbard146937
Redwood138527
Renville136139
Houston133213
Dodge13134
Chippewa130632
Cottonwood125118
Fillmore12084
Wadena118214
Rock108511
Sibley10757
Aitkin106633
Watonwan10548
Faribault103214
Kanabec96818
Pennington95915
Pipestone92522
Yellow Medicine92514
Murray8585
Jackson84510
Swift82617
Pope7355
Marshall70115
Stevens6968
Clearwater68114
Lac qui Parle65216
Lake62215
Wilkin6179
Koochiching57910
Lincoln4771
Big Stone4513
Unassigned43568
Grant4247
Norman4218
Mahnomen4077
Kittson36619
Red Lake3154
Traverse2433
Lake of the Woods1741
Cook1130

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 300884

Reported Deaths: 4197
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk44949440
Linn17563269
Scott15228161
Black Hawk13552228
Woodbury12896175
Johnson1191749
Dubuque11229148
Pottawattamie8863112
Dallas874169
Story857433
Webster464768
Cerro Gordo458766
Sioux452451
Clinton445461
Warren430637
Marshall424561
Buena Vista389029
Muscatine382275
Des Moines377340
Plymouth347967
Wapello336796
Jasper315955
Lee310828
Marion298852
Jones268949
Henry262130
Carroll252233
Bremer240048
Crawford227622
Boone214116
Washington213531
Benton207543
Mahaska189936
Jackson189631
Tama184757
Dickinson183225
Delaware171136
Kossuth169241
Clay165319
Wright161724
Fayette157022
Buchanan156920
Hamilton156828
Hardin153129
Harrison152961
Winneshiek150819
Clayton149848
Cedar149119
Butler145423
Page143115
Floyd137236
Cherokee137125
Mills135216
Lyon133132
Poweshiek131024
Hancock127924
Allamakee125927
Iowa122122
Calhoun12159
Jefferson118623
Grundy118522
Winnebago117229
Madison11639
Mitchell114634
Louisa113729
Cass111741
Chickasaw110111
Sac110115
Emmet109931
Appanoose108838
Union107922
Humboldt103919
Guthrie102124
Shelby101026
Franklin99818
Unassigned9370
Palo Alto8969
Keokuk84225
Montgomery82722
Howard81119
Monroe79918
Pocahontas77211
Clarke7717
Ida73530
Greene6837
Davis68221
Adair68120
Lucas6458
Osceola6349
Monona62316
Taylor5889
Worth5873
Fremont5005
Van Buren49112
Decatur4744
Ringgold4229
Wayne41321
Audubon4118
Adams2923
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