When it comes to leaks, Trump’s White House seems to be unable to stop the steady “drip drip” of information coming from their halls. It seems Jared Kushner recently learned that the hard way.
Kushner was recorded speaking to a group of congressional interns on Monday. Wired reported that the deputy staff director for Member Services, Outreach & Communications, Katie Patru, made a very strong statement to the interns about the “breach of trust” that recording the lecture would be. Today, the recording has already been leaked for all to hear.
The topics discussed may reveal Kushner’s negotiating tactics in the Middle East, and also may reveal that controlling the “drip drip” in Trump’s Washington may be a challenge almost as daunting as subjects like the ethereal “Peace in the Middle East.”
Author and counselor, Jeffrey Guterman noted:
“In leaked audio, Jared Kushner encourages congressional interns not to leak.”
The 36-year-old senior advisor to Trump has been appointed to handle some seriously tough issues. The kind of issues that require a complex understanding of history and foreign relations honed over years of experience in politics. Kushner, however, is Trump’s son-in-law, so apparently, that will suffice. Wired reports that Kushner has a beyond-enormous list of tasks to confront, but that the task that stands out as most personal to him is probably creating peace in the Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has known Kushner since his childhood.
Anybody who can create peace in the Middle East would be a miracle worker, but Kushner is apparently quite confident that he is uniquely qualified. It’s reminiscent of Donald’s approach: “I alone can fix America.”
In the leaked lecture to the interns, Kushner laments that “not a whole lot has been accomplished over the last 40 or 50 years” to make peace, and that “this is a very emotionally charged situation.” He pushes away from studying the delicate and complex history of the past: “We don’t want a history lesson. We’ve read enough books. Let’s focus on how do you come up with a conclusion to the situation.”
Some might wonder, if creating peace in one of the most contentious locations on earth might require a thorough understanding of the complex and ancient history –apprently not Jared so much. Just a couple months ago, Jared met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to get that peace going. The result from a senior Palestinian official: “They sounded like Netanyahu’s advisers and not like fair arbiters.” The meeting was tense and reportedly infuriated Abbas.
Trump had indicated it would be relatively easy, but like with health care and many other matters, it’s certainly not. Alas, that’s where foreign relations experience really counts. As Kushner states, “The other thing we were working through, in this past week, it really showed us how quickly things can ignite in our history, and you have some people who don’t want to see and achieve an outcome of peace.”
“Ignite” hopefully not being the key word…
It was Kushner’s closing statement that really provides more evidence that he may be in over his precocious head when it comes to this very delicate subject:
“So, what do we offer that’s unique? I don’t know… I’m sure everyone that’s tried this has been unique in some ways, but again we’re trying to follow very logically. We’re thinking about what the right end state is. And we’re trying to work with the parties very quietly to see if there’s a solution. And there may be no solution, but it’s one of the problem sets that the president asked us to focus on. So we’re going to focus on it and try to come to the right conclusion in the near future.”
Trump asked him to focus on it, but Kushner has been given the responsibility to do the undoable on so many fronts. Even without conflicts of interest, family ties, and decades of direct experience, it would be a herculean challenge. Then factor in leaks coming left and right and even from his Father-in-law from within the Oval Office? We might place “Peace in the Middle East” in the same category as Trump’s “unbelievable, much less expensive great health care” for all. Both tasks could be sabotaged by Trump’s dogged strategy to dismiss history and the opinions of seasoned and educated experts, as well as things like, you know, facts.
A complete transcript with audio is available from Wired’s article.