If there is one person who wields more power over Donald Trump than his daughter Ivanka, it is her husband: the very rich and very ambitious, Jared Kushner.
In contrast to his wife of almost seven years, Kushner, a millionaire real-estate mogul, is camera shy and stays mostly mum during public appearances. Instead, he likes to operate behind the scenes and has gradually become the president-elect’s closest and most trusted adviser — a position he seems determined to carry into the White House, considering how Trump took the unprecedented step of requesting security clearance for his son-in-law.
During Trump’s highly controversial presidential campaign, when his wife Melania stayed out of public eye (for the most part) and his knuckleheaded older sons, Eric and Donald Jr., continued putting their feet in their mouths, the Kushners turned into a power couple, taking the opportunities in Trump’s campaign like nobody else.
He was also one of the most notable figures to lay out the groundwork for a Trump-run television network in hopes to turn the presidential campaign, which they thought would fail, into a lucrative business opportunity.
"Government is built with many layers to avoid making mistakes," he wrote in a New York Observer editorial. "The problem with this is that it costs a lot and little gets done. In business, we empower smart people to get jobs done and give them latitude on how to get there."
A Silent Influence
“Honestly, Jared is a very successful real estate person. But I actually think he likes politics more than he likes real estate,” Trump said during an Indiana party following primary election win in May. “But he's very good at politics.”
During Trump’s first meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, Kushner was spotted strolling in the South Lawn, deep in conversation with Obama's chief of staff Denis McDonough.
The New Jersey property developer may not have an official position within the Trump administration, but Trump named him, alongside his three older children, in the transition team — which in itself is a mess. Part of the blame actually falls on Kushner.
The Trump team recently fired former Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan and lobbyist Matthew Freedman from their roles as advisors for national security during the transition. As The New York Times reports, it happened at the urging of Kushner, whom the racist demagogue wants to sit in on the daily presidential briefings.
Moreover, the newspaper also claimed Kushner is “systematically dismissing” anyone with ties to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Beef With Gov. Chris Christie
Kushner shares a bitter history with Christie.
Charles Kushner, Jared’s father, was a wealthy property mogul who was jailed for tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and witness tampering. He donated $2.5 million to Harvard University before the young Jared secured a place at the esteemed institution despite his poor grades. At the time, the senior Kushner donated to Cornell and Princeton as well.
He also filmed his own brother-in-law with a prostitute — a liaison he had set up himself in an effort to dissuade his sister from testifying against him.
Now, the man who prosecuted the controversial businessman was none other than Christie, who was the attorney general at the time.
Defending Trump’s Anti-Semitism
Kushner, an Orthodox Jew whose grandparents were Holocaust survivors, defended Trump after he re-tweeted a picture featuring his rival, Hillary Clinton, with a $100 bill and the Star of David.
“In my opinion, accusations like 'racist' and 'anti-Semite' are being thrown around with a carelessness that risks rendering these words meaningless,” he wrote in his newspaper, The New York Observer. “I know the difference between actual, dangerous intolerance versus these labels that get tossed around in an effort to score political points.”
Kushner was reportedly criticized by his family for defending the racist demagogue. However, the 35-year-old didn’t let it deter him.
Jared Kushner was one of the most important players in Trump campaign and he is going to play the part with even more veracity once Trump actually gets into the White House.
It’s time America starts paying attention to this silent adviser.