Monday, 20 May, 2019

Trump 2020 might be Kushner's escape hatch

Ivanka Trump dances with husband Jared Kushner at the inaugural ball with First Lady Melania Trump Ivanka Trump dances with husband Jared Kushner at the inaugural ball with First Lady Melania Trump
Patty Aguilar | 02 March, 2018, 07:22

Jared Kushner's complicated financial holdings, business debt and political inexperience have prompted foreign officials in several countries to discuss ways they can manipulate the president's son-in-law and close adviser, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Kushner was operating with the Top Secret Clearance which "provides access to information or material that may cause exceptionally grave damage to national security if disclosed without authorization" and, Sensitive Compartmented Information which "provides access to all intelligence information and material that require special controls for restricted handling within compartmented channels". Now he is authorised to access information only at the lower "secret" level, according to a White House official.

White House senior advisor Jared Kushner participates in a prison reform roundtable with President Donald Trump in the Roosevelt Room on January 11, 2018.

The nations included the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico, the Post reported, citing current and former USA officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter. If Trump is not inclined to go out on a limb to protect Kushner's security clearance, would he risk a firestorm by, for example, pardoning Kushner if he is ever indicted? Lawmakers also called for the removal of both his and Ivanka Trump's security clearances after it was discovered last September that they had used private email accounts and encrypted messaging apps to communicate official White House business.

Porter, Kushner and Hicks are among the many high-profile names that Trump surrounded himself with but have now become a liability which in turn is directly affecting his credibility as the Commander-in-Chief.

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Rules or no rules, let's pull back to the 1,000-foot level and ask ourselves: Does it seem like a job as Assistant to the President should be for sitting in the White House across a table from bankers that your cash-strapped family is desperately plying for a $184 million loan?

Jared Kushner leaves a United Nations Security Council meeting in February. Kushner may assert that he can do his job with a downgraded security clearance but, having worked in the White House and in diplomacy, I think that is false.

However, in an article for Politico, Kel McClanahan speculated that Trump and Kushner could "find workarounds if they so choose". They're fast-tracked. He hadn't gotten it.

Kushner, or representatives of his family firm, also met with a Qatari investment company, run by the country's former prime minister and finance minister, Hamad Bin Jasim al-Thani, one of the world's wealthiest men.

But Kushner's talks with foreign officials as the company continued searching for financial backing have raised questions. We don't know whether he had any role during the campaign in soliciting help from or working in concert with Russians to sway the election, although he did attend - along with Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. - the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with a Kremlin-linked lawyer.

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