President Trump is reportedly creating a new position for his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
The newly formed White House Office of American Innovation will leverage business ideas and potentially privatize some government functions, according to Reuters, as Kushner says:
“The government should be run like a great American company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens,”
In a statement to the Post, Trump said:
“I promised the American people I would produce results, and apply my ‘ahead of schedule, under budget’ mentality to the government.”
Some of the areas he will focus on are veterans’ care, opioid addiction, technology and data infrastructure, workforce training and infrastructure, according to the report.
Kushner has been a regular presence at his father-in-law’s side and was earlier cleared by the Justice Department to serve as a White House senior adviser even as Democrats raised concerns about his potential conflicts of interest.
Kushner’s move comes one week after Ivanka Trump received her own office in the White House along with access to classified information and a government-issued phone after aides earlier said she would not take on a role in her father’s White House.
While we are sure Mr Kushner is eminently qualified for this role, we can’t help but feel a tinge of ‘keep it in the family’ angst as nepotism continues to rear its ugly head. However, what is more fascinating is that this new role was assigned just as Kushner faces questions over his Russian dealings… (as Axios summarizes)
The NYTimes has a story this morning on Jared Kushner being summoned before the Senate Intelligence Committee to answer questions on his meetings with Russian officials and Kremlin-linked businessmen. Key highlights:
- The White House got a heads up earlier this month on potential questions about Kushner’s meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
- Kushner also apparently met with Sergey Gorkov, who heads up Obama-sanctioned Vnesheconombank.
- WH spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirmed these meetings, but said Kusher “isn’t trying to hide anything.”
- Questions for Kushner include whether he discussed personal business deals (included an over-leveraged Manhattan building), per the NYT.