Axios reports that Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law of Donald Trump, recently told Republican donors at a retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that ex-prisoners are registering with the GOP.
“I guess climate change is not their No. 1 issue,” he joked.
Kusher’s comments come not long after he spoke with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about the prison reform bill that Trump recently signed into law. He was reportedly trying to gain Republican support for prison reform and cited statistics he claims to have seen about ex-felons registering with the Grand Old Party (GOP) in Florida.
During the same conversation, Kushner reportedly discussed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement he helped negotiate as well as Trump’s trade war with China. In regards to the latter issue, Kushner claims that Trump isn’t leading the battle due to politics — he’s reportedly trying to do the “right thing.”
CNN reports that Kushner claims prison reform is close to his heart due to his personal experience with the issue. Specifically, his father, Charles, spent time in federal prison for tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions, and witness tampering.
“There was one issue that was very close to my heart because I had a personal experience, which was prison reform,” he said at CNN’s inaugural Citizen Conference back in 2018.
Kusher added that reforming prisoners is a more viable solution than keeping them in prison because it prevents them from learning to “become better criminals.”
Scoop: Jared Kushner tells donors ex-prisoners are joining the GOP https://t.co/QtwcKXBCuf— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) August 25, 2019
Outside of Kushner and the Trump administration, prison reform has been a focus for some of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. Per The Inquisitr, Bernie Sanders recently unveiled his plan for prison reform during a town hall in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Washington Post reports that Sanders argues that the current criminal justice system in the U.S. is inherently racist.
“We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world. That’s a fact,” he said. “Yet we have more people in jail and in the criminal justice system — on probation and on parole — by far, ain’t even close, than any other major country on Earth.”
“And the folks that we have in jail are disproportionately poor, disproportionately minority — African American, Latino, Native American.”
Sanders proposes to allow inmates to vote, ban for-profit prisons, end price gouging, end cash bail, make communications free of charge, and more.
Although the Vermont Senator faced criticism earlier this year for his proposal to allow inmates to vote, he doesn’t appear to be backing away from the controversial plan.