President Trump wants daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner to return to New York because they’re being damaged by bad press.
“He keeps pressuring them to go,” a source close to Kushner told Vanity Fair.
Kushner has had a particularly hard time of late. Last Friday, a Senate committee reported he had not turned over emails related to WikiLeaks. It was previously reported that Kushner pressured the president to fire FBI director James Comey, which kicked off the Russia investigation.
It’s inspired by a crackdown by White House chief of staff John Kelly who has been downsizing Kushner’s huge portfolio of responsibilities since he accepted the job in July. At one point, Trump had assigned Kushner the responsibilities for Middle East peace, China policy, veterans affairs reform, the opioid epidemic and reinventing government in general. “Kelly has clipped his wings,” a high-level Republican told Vanity Fair. Kushner’s purview has been reduced to Israeli-Palestinian peace.
But trouble has followed Kushner even there. Kelly is reportedly aggrieved by Kushner’s secret trip to Saudi Arabia last month during which he met with Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman days before Salman orchestrated a palace coup by arresting 11 members of the royal family. The Washington Post reported that Kushner and Salman stayed up until 4 a.m. “planning strategy,” leaving Kelly to clean up after suggestions that the U.S. knew about the coup in advance and was perhaps involved.
Meanwhile, special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe continues to heat up. Trump has become frustrated with Kushner’s political advice, which included backing failed Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange. So he’s encouraging an escape to New York.
But the city wouldn’t be a refuge. Kushner’s family’s building, 666 Fifth Avenue, is overleveraged on a $1.2 billion mortgage and is a “growing problem that won’t go away,” reported Bloomberg in August.