Jared Kushner's problems are only just beginning

Jared Kushner's security clearance downgrade is not the end of the story, unless you are talking about his diplomatic...

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 1:27 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2018 1:27 PM

Jared Kushner's security clearance downgrade is not the end of the story, unless you are talking about his diplomatic career. That is over.

Despite the claim by both White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Kushner's lawyer that "the new clearance policy will not affect Mr. Kushner's ability to continue to do the very important work he has been assigned by the President," it will do exactly that.

The reliance on Jared Kushner as the primary negotiator for everything from Middle East peace to trade deals to the United States' relationships in Asia has been dying a slow death over the last year due to a combination of his lack of experience, lack of respect from world leaders and the actions of his boss and father-in-law, President Donald Trump. The official loss of his interim top security clearance should come as no surprise. A valid question the White House should have to answer is why it took so long.

After working in the White House on and off for eight years and traveling around the world for two years with an actual top diplomat, Secretary of State John Kerry, I can confirm without a doubt that it is not possible to be on the front lines of diplomacy as the chief representative of the United States without the highest level of security clearance.

Why? Because a top-level security clearance gives access to information and insights into foreign powers, their leaders and their thinking about ongoing issues that gives chief negotiators a leg up. And it is impossible to do the job of chief negotiator or chief representative for the president without it.

We don't actually know the real reason for the downgrade, but Kushner's portfolio changes are the least of his problems.

If you believe White House spin, the memo sent to White House staff, including to Jared Kushner, that informed them that their security clearance had been downgraded, was all part of an effort by Chief of Staff John Kelly to take a significant step in clearing the deck of high-level employees with interim security clearances.

Donald Trump had the power to override that decision -- but he didn't. And Kushner's father-in-law, the President, hasn't exactly shied away from breaking the rules, conflicting his own public commitments or making decisions that are clearly conflicts of interest. But he didn't on Kushner's behalf, even though it will significantly reduce his portfolio.

The more likely reasons for Kushner's downgrade affect far more than his job responsibilities.

New reports surfaced on Tuesday that not one, but four foreign powers -- the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico -- had been discussing ways to influence Kushner. Why? Because of his lack of experience, knowledge and his financial vulnerabilities.

Jared Kushner's problems are only just beginning

Revelations like these would prompt immediate calls for a brand new congressional investigation in almost any other administration.

This is further public fuel for the investigation that is already ongoing under Robert Mueller.

Not because there are new specifics about Russia's influence or contacts, but because these reports confirmed that Jared Kushner is a prime candidate for foreign powers to target and to attempt to influence. Because it shows that his naivet-, lack of experience, poor judgment and financial issues had more than just the Russians licking their chops at the prospect of getting closer to Trump.

Jared Kushner's pursuit of Middle East peace may be dead. But questions about his contacts and engagements with foreign powers are just beginning.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319511

Reported Deaths: 7368
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22267267
Hinds20657421
Harrison18401317
Rankin13868282
Jackson13681248
Madison10239224
Lee10052176
Jones8458167
Forrest7824153
Lauderdale7257242
Lowndes6501150
Lamar634088
Lafayette6303121
Washington5419136
Bolivar4836133
Panola4665110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4600147
Marshall4572105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425073
Union415677
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386487
Leflore3515125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3368111
Alcorn324272
Scott319774
Yazoo314171
Adams305886
Itawamba305078
Copiah299666
Coahoma298484
Simpson298189
Tippah291868
Prentiss283661
Leake271774
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231268
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187754
Stone187433
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174032
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry126738
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman81916
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69432
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
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The relative lack of humidity has been a welcome change from the summertime stuffiness we’ve had lately. That lack of humidity will once again ensure that temperatures get down into the mid 60s for early morning Thursday. While Friday morning will remain comfortable as well, rain chances ratchet up as a tropical system approaches this weekend.
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