In the past, American presidents have found great insight into foreign policy by reading intelligence briefings compiled from secret surveillance of foreign leaders.
But Donald Trump reportedly doesn’t see these briefings because intelligence officials are don’t want him to see how much those foreign leaders bash his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
A bombshell new report from the Washington Post revealed that Donald Trump had taken efforts to conceal any details of his face-to-face encounters with Vladimir Putin, even going so far as to destroy notes from an interpreter in the meeting. The story added fuel to the criticism that Trump may be compromised by Russia. But within that story was another damaging revelation about one of Trump’s most trusted advisers, the husband of his daughter Ivanka Trump.
The report noted that past presidents have often studied the reports intelligence agencies collect from foreign leaders and governments. These are often used for American presidents to assess whether they met their objectives in the meeting, but current U.S. intelligence officials have been reluctant to show Trump these reports due to how often foreign leader disparage Jared Kushner.
Kushner had often been criticized as unfit to hold the high-level White House position he occupies under Trump, lacking both the foreign policy and diplomatic experience that normally comes with such a key advisory role. But Trump has placed great trust in Kushner, putting him in charge of a number of key initiatives.
As Yahoo News noted, Kushner has been stepping in to help craft a solution to the ongoing government shutdown. The report noted that Kushner has been holding discussions with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, and even floating the idea of passing protection for the DACA program in exchange for funding for Donald Trump’s border wall.
I’ll believe that Jared Kushner is growing into his role as a White House staffer when intelligence agencies stop recording foreign conversations that disparage his abilities. https://t.co/w8JoVn0z4i pic.twitter.com/xdEx0C0gVm— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) January 12, 2019
As the report added, Kushner had already joined a team of top officials that tried to craft a deal, though it did not come to fruition.
“In an attempt at a compromise, Trump last week tapped Vice President Mike Pence to lead a team that included Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, to talk with a Democratic congressional delegation. The two groups met last weekend, but there was little progress,” the report noted.
Jared Kushner had also been entrusted with other initiatives, including leading negotiations on an arms deal with Saudi Arabia that Donald Trump had hailed as one of his greatest foreign policy successes.