The Kushner phenomenon

You might have become distracted by news that our president wants to help a Chinese cell phone company whose technology could threaten our nation’s security. Maybe it was North Korea’s threatening to cancel a meeting with our president concerning nuclear weapons. There’s also the growing interest in awarding our president the Nobel Peace Prize, and the latest development about his hush money to the porn actress. Plenty of fast-breaking information to distract us from the news out of Jerusalem, where Jared Kushner recently delivered a speech on behalf of the United States at the ceremonial opening of the U.S. Embassy.

Jared Who? Kushner, the man who married Ivanka and thus entered the Trump family. The young real estate owner who hangs around the White House and sits in on sensitive national security discussions despite being denied security clearance. Why was he representing our nation at an international ceremonial event? Who elected him? To what position exactly? I don’t recall seeing his name on a ballot.

Here is a get-acquainted summary. Jared Kushner dabbles in real estate. Tenants in buildings he owns in Maryland are suing him over his rent policies. New York City is investigating documents that his company filed that was less that truthful about the number of residents occupying his rent-regulated residences.

His daddy-in-law’s White House is looking into loans made to Kushner’s real estate firm after he met with finance executives in his role as senior adviser to the president. They want to questions the ethics of this. He tends to act quickly after meetings with useful people. From The New York Times we learn that his companies received a $325 million loan from one banking company and $184 from another after executives of these deep-pocket folks met with him at the White House. Bloomberg reports of Kushner’s efforts to extract money from A businessman in Qatar, a South Korean company and a large insurance company in China.

Curiously, Jared grew up in a family of Democrats, yet he joined Trump’s campaign for president, writing speeches, among other activities. He became heavily involved in the transition team and sought legal counsel about his chances to be a part of the Trump administration. He succeeded. His wife’s father made him a senior adviser to the president. This led him to  travel abroad and represent us in his dealings with officials of foreign governments.

From The Washington Post, we learn that officials of The United States had intercepted conversations from members of governments of China, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Israel about how they could take advantage of Kushner’s business dealings and lack of foreign policy experience.

Then in February, John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, announced plans to clean up the White House’s security clearance standards, and Jared Kushner’s status was lowered from the top secret level to secret, since he had not yet received clearance. Wait. He was representing the nation in talks with foreign governments but he didn’t have security clearance?

Yep. That’s our boy, out there representing our great nation. Still on the payroll. Our payroll. How does this happen? Why do we let it happen? Where is the outrage?

Maybe we have become distracted. Or numb.

 

 

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