It was always ridiculous that Jared Kushner, an amiable 37-year-old who had no diplomatic, political or military experience, should have had top-level ‘SCI’ security access as a senior member of the White House — just because he happened to be the President’s son-in-law.
Well now, he’s been downgraded, as Politico reports. He continues to have ‘secret level’ access, which is still pretty silly when you think about it. But the downgrading signals that Kushner, who just a few weeks ago was still thought to be the supreme power in the White House, is losing influence.
It also suggests that General John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff, is taking further charge of international affairs. Kelly had reportedly grown increasingly frustrated with Kushner’s foreign-policy dabbling. There have long been rumours in Washington that Kushner’s pally and somewhat shady deal-making tendencies, especially in the Middle East, had tended to frustrate Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s more serious diplomatic efforts.
Kelly, a notorious control freak, reportedly discussed resigning a few weeks ago, over the mishandling of allegations of sexual abuse in the White House. The latest news suggests not only that he is staying: he is tightening his grip on the administration.
How significant a setback the security downgrade is for Kushner remains uncertain. But, combined with the fact Ivanka, Kushner’s wife and Trump’s daughter, has just been shipped to Korea seemingly just to look pretty for the Winter Olympics, the shift seems obvious: the power of Javanka — as the couple are known — seems on the wane. Then again, in Trump’s tumultuous White House, that could be turned upside down at any moment.