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: 594427

Reported Deaths: 7389
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1229681733
Ramsey51530876
Dakota46037452
Anoka41844440
Washington26983283
Stearns22293222
St. Louis17814305
Scott17324126
Wright16121140
Olmsted1326598
Sherburne1175388
Carver1051245
Clay816792
Rice8075108
Blue Earth751941
Crow Wing666990
Kandiyohi657383
Chisago603251
Otter Tail575878
Benton572397
Goodhue478772
Douglas468576
Mower466732
Winona455150
Itasca440556
McLeod425459
Isanti424864
Morrison419860
Nobles408148
Beltrami397859
Steele389315
Polk384968
Becker381153
Lyon361251
Carlton346054
Freeborn342129
Pine329122
Nicollet326443
Brown305840
Mille Lacs305353
Le Sueur293123
Todd282832
Cass274628
Meeker257340
Waseca236522
Martin230932
Roseau209419
Wabasha20643
Hubbard190241
Dodge18543
Renville180543
Redwood174537
Houston172016
Cottonwood165823
Fillmore156710
Wadena156122
Pennington153719
Faribault152619
Chippewa152438
Kanabec145126
Sibley143910
Aitkin135336
Watonwan13329
Rock128419
Jackson121812
Pipestone116026
Yellow Medicine114220
Pope11096
Murray10639
Swift105818
Stevens91511
Marshall88117
Clearwater87016
Koochiching84315
Wilkin81612
Lake81120
Lac qui Parle75322
Big Stone6004
Lincoln5813
Grant5788
Mahnomen5539
Norman5409
Unassigned49593
Kittson48622
Red Lake3987
Traverse3705
Lake of the Woods3273
Cook1660

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 367374

Reported Deaths: 5946
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57696628
Linn20903335
Scott20071242
Black Hawk15825308
Woodbury15141228
Johnson1449883
Dubuque13382209
Dallas1118698
Pottawattamie11140168
Story1062848
Warren577889
Clinton556193
Cerro Gordo541289
Sioux514574
Webster512293
Marshall483275
Muscatine4812100
Des Moines458966
Wapello4305122
Buena Vista424940
Jasper419472
Plymouth401280
Lee376255
Marion363175
Jones299157
Henry292037
Carroll286052
Bremer284960
Crawford266240
Boone265134
Benton256655
Washington253950
Dickinson248543
Mahaska230451
Jackson222142
Clay215725
Kossuth215564
Tama209871
Delaware209741
Winneshiek196935
Page192722
Buchanan191532
Cedar190123
Hardin185743
Fayette185241
Wright184637
Hamilton180249
Harrison179673
Clayton169756
Butler165034
Madison162519
Mills162422
Floyd161142
Cherokee159038
Lyon158241
Poweshiek154934
Allamakee151451
Iowa148924
Hancock148434
Winnebago142631
Cass138654
Calhoun138413
Grundy136433
Emmet134240
Jefferson132735
Shelby130937
Sac130519
Union128333
Louisa128149
Appanoose128049
Mitchell126442
Chickasaw124116
Guthrie121530
Franklin120821
Humboldt119126
Palo Alto112823
Howard104622
Montgomery103338
Clarke100224
Unassigned9720
Keokuk95931
Monroe95229
Ida90635
Adair86532
Pocahontas85522
Davis83524
Monona82730
Osceola78816
Greene77710
Lucas77223
Worth7498
Taylor66012
Fremont6229
Decatur6089
Van Buren55918
Ringgold55824
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Audubon50910
Adams3384
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