There are some great nuggets for lovers of White House intrigue in Gabriel Sherman's latest behind-the-scenes in the Trump administration, the thrust of which reports that as his legal and political troubles mount, Donald Trump has turned on top adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Sherman's on-the-record sources are particularly harsh. From Vanity Fair:
“Jared is the worst political adviser in the White House in modern history,” Nunberg said.
That would be Sam Nunberg, who was fired from the Trump campaign in 2015 when Business Insider turned up some racist posts he had written on social media. So it should be taken with a grain of salt.
But it does bring to mind this quote from a longer Vanity Fair profile that appeared last spring:
Given the initial absence of pros who could do the job properly, he also tried his hand at writing speeches. Responding to criticism from the boss (“Jared, this is terrible!”), Kushner said, according to a person familiar with the episode, “I’m not a fucking speechwriter. I am a real-estate guy.”
Therein lies much of the reason that Trump's presidency, again in Nunberg's words, is “f****d.”
Trump ran his campaign, and now his presidency, the same way he ran his businesses — by relying on his family, to the exclusion of other people who might be, you know, qualified to do the job. Which is why daughter Ivanka, whose previous life mostly involved running a “lifestyle brand” with the family name on it, has spent time over the last year getting involved in environmental and reproductive rights policy.
It is why Jared, a rich kid who bought and ran (badly) a newspaper when he wasn't busy loading up his family's real estate company with debt that now threatens to crush it, got drafted into giving Trump political advice that has worked out badly.
And now the president, who once reportedly made Jared the last person he spoke to at night, has supposedly turned on his son-in-law.
But this is Trump's fault. A good executive puts his people in position to succeed. Trump has placed his unqualified relatives in jobs they have no business doing, so, of course, they have failed him. If only he had the insight or the lack of ego to blame himself.