January 10, 2017

"The soft-spoken Mr. Kushner has often been described as having a calming effect on Mr. Trump..."

"... who is notorious for yelling at staff members during moments of tension. Mr. Kushner became the de facto campaign manager in the spring, and his influence with Mr. Trump has expanded rapidly," the NYT reports.
He is expected to play the same role in the White House, while the chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, provides the president-elect with strategic, messaging and communications advice, and Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee and the incoming chief of staff, runs day-to-day operations in the West Wing. Mr. Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway, will have a direct line to the president on a range of issues....

Mr. Kushner will not take a salary and plans to work on issues involving the Middle East and Israel; try to forge government partnerships with the private sector; and collaborate with Mr. Trump’s choice for commerce secretary, Wilbur L. Ross Jr., on matters involving free trade....
Kushner comes from a family of Democrats, is "a lifelong Democrat" and "liberal on social issues."

Why would anti-Trumpers want to oppose Kushner by pushing the theory that the anti-nepotism law bars the President from having family members as advisers? They should want Kushner there. I assume they do. Kushner won't be stopped, so they'll get the presumable moderating effect of Kushner. Railing about nepotism is, I presume, another way to pummel Trump.

You can have your cake and eat it too. Your cake = Kushner, the sort-of liberal, will be in the White House, moderating Trump and encouraging his liberal tendencies. Eating it too = beating Trump up for doing anything and everything that can be portrayed as corrupt and amateurish and stupid.

But maybe those who like Trump should wonder about Kushner. Not only does he seem to be a liberal, but the lawyer — quoted throughout the NYT article — is Jamie S. Gorelick. You may remember the "Gorelick wall."

43 comments:

damikesc said...

Gorelick is the prime example of failing your way to the top. That she has jobs in spite of her track record of abject failure is mind-boggling. I do have questions of anybody who'd hire her.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

RFK.

I hope Trump listens to him too. Already the Repubs have shown themselves incapable of governing. They're outbidding each other for tax hikes for the richest people, doing away with ethics watchdog and stem cell prohibition.

Trump better get control or the Repubs will hijack his agenda for the same old unpopular Republican platform.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Kushner comes from a family of Democrats, is 'a lifelong Democrat' and 'liberal on social issues.'"
Trump as an Eastern, New Deal Democrat. I can see that.

AprilApple said...

The collective left are not finished with their temper tantrums.


He's a "racist homophobic misogynist! nepotism! cut all finical dealings with the private sector or waaaaaa!" is not over.

John said...

Lots or reasons to revile Gorelick.

The wall between FBI and CIA is not one of them.

The wall, forbidding FBI and CIA to share info came out of the 1970s Church Commission (Rep Frank Church) and was the result of some serious shenanigans going on in both agencies.

Really, really, really bad shit. The wall was intended to slow it down.

A bit OT I just finished reading "The Brothers Dulles" about CIA founder Allen Dulles and his brother John Foster Dulles, Ike's Sec State. What a couple of bad apples these two guys were. Interesting book. Buy it via Ann's Amazon portal.

It was stuff like the Dulles brothers did that led to the wall of separation. Should have led to the disbandment of the CIA, really.

John Henry

SayAahh said...

There is much more interesting reading about Jared Kushner in New York Magazine by Andrew Rice 1/8/17.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

...try to forge government partnerships with the private sector...

We hope not!

Saint Croix said...

Some ethics experts have questioned whether the appointment will be legal under federal anti-nepotism laws designed to prevent family ties from influencing the functioning of the United States government.

This is the LBJ rule, because he hated Bobby Kennedy so much. Stupid rule. Feel free to remind the Democrats what a great AG Bobby Kennedy was!

I'm a huge fan of Kushner, mostly because he owns the newspaper that printed this. And then he wrote his response. I think both he and his wife are amazing. I am big fans.

Kushner comes from a family of Democrats, is "a lifelong Democrat" and "liberal on social issues."

That describes Donald Trump, for most of his life!

I read somewhere that Mike Pence vets all the Supreme Court appointments, maybe all the judicial appointments. Pence has vowed that Roe v. Wade will be consigned to the ash heap of history. I hope so! We will see.

PB said...

Yeah, I saw Gorelick mentioned. Some people should be shunned for their actions.

Big Mike said...

I also remember Gorelick being involved in a major scandal at Fannie Mae during the run up to its collapse in 2008, for which she collected several hundred thousand dollars in salary and bonuses. And she was also part of Duke's defense team when the lacrosse players sued the university, which I took to be a sign that Duke was going to have to settle or lose, and so it was.

If Jared Kushner wants us to respect his acumen he needs to fire Gorelick ASAP. His father-in-law can help him find the right words! As a practical matter wives and relatives of presidents will have influence and that's probably a good thing in many cases -- or are we to scrub Abegail Adams from the history books?

FWIW I assume objections to young Mr. Kushner are rooted in anti-semitism.

MayBee said...

Ha! Mike Allen just published the picks Hillary had in line for cabinet positions......and Jamie Gorelick was on the list!!!!

How?

traditionalguy said...

DJT as FDR can use some tuned in liberal advice.

Just remind the Conservatives this duo will save us money. Neither one draws a paycheck and when they take a vacation, their Resort Room and Greens Fees get comped.

MayBee said...

My Facebook friends are going crazy over this, and also over two things I would like Facebook to mark as "fake", but they won't:
1- this idea that Trump has somehow fired the people in charge of the nukes
2- ginned up outrage that Trump isn't letting politically appointed Ambassadors stay in their countries as Ambassador after the inauguration. They are outraged at how dangerous this is, and unprecedented Of course it is neither. I can point out I've lived in countries where Obama had not yet appointed an Ambassador for months, but they don't care.

traditionalguy said...

Jared could also win Trump a share of the Hebrew Campaign Cash. He can hold the fundraisers at the new American Embassy in Jerusalem.

David said...

Gorelick is the right lawyer for the job of defending Kuschner's position. She knows the law on the subject, and has credibility with the people who would attack Kuschner and Trump over this.

A strong effective choice. If this is the way he operates, he will be fun to watch (if he is even visible.)

mockturtle said...

Trump better get control or the Repubs will hijack his agenda for the same old unpopular Republican platform.

I worry about that, too. Every time I see Ryan with that 'cat-that-swallowed-the-canary' look on his face, I get uneasy.

As Bette Davis said in All About Eve, "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night".

MayBee said...

I don't care if Gorelick is someone's private lawyer. I want to keep her out of government, lest she bring about another catastrophe.

Lance said...

Hang on, the same crew that has pushed the Kennedys on us for 70 years is now complaining about nepotism? The same crew that's now prepping Chelsea Clinton, not just for Congress, but for the White House?

Good grief.

roesch/voltaire said...

Yes he will quietly whisper about his meeting with Mr. Wu and the Anbang talks which will benefit the families acquisitions of real estate backed by more opaque foreign money.

Bob Ellison said...

"Gorelick". Those with that name pronounce it with three syllables, as "gore-EL-lick".

It's apparently derived from an eastern European, Jewish name, originally. They should have spelled it differently on Ellis Island. In English, it looks like a retiring green's sex fantasy.

Bob Ellison said...

"Korellik" would be better.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger mockturtle said...

I worry about that, too. Every time I see Ryan with that 'cat-that-swallowed-the-canary' look on his face, I get uneasy.

Me too. When it was pointed out to Ryan, re: the border fence, that he had a nice security fence around his home, he had the balls to say that it was to keep his dogs in.

William said...

If you can't go with racism or anti-semitism, go with nepotism. Every single Trump appointment is objectionable on some level.

Chuck said...

I love the Jamie Gorelick angle, adding spice to what might otherwise have been a bland story about Trump/Kushner nepotism.

Jamie Gorelick is conservative catnip; we've got truckloads of oppo-research on her.

And as Althouse (rightly, again) points out, the Trump kids, whose influence seems to have been a very serious matter in the campaign, represent the sort of Manhattanite-liberal viewpoint that middle American conservatives and Republicans ought to find offensive.

Jared Kushner, meet Jeff Sessiona! Ivanka Trump, allow me to introduce you to Betsy DeVos!

I still think this is the key to Althouse's having been so solicitous of the Trump phenomenon; the possibility of a Republican president who leads his party and the nation away from all of the last vestiges of any legal -- and indeed any private -- disopprobrium of homosexuality. Like getting the old anti-communist Dick Nixon to be the guy to go to China. Like getting a Roman Catholic pope, to endorse gay marriage.

Brando said...

I don't really see a reason liberals should have a problem with Kushner either. Has anything coming from Trump that liberals didn't like originated with Kushner?

Also, official titles and cabinet posts may mean ability to run agencies (and if Trump doesn't care too much about the details, they'd run the agencies with a lot of autonomy) but the real influencing power can be anyone the president listens to. Remember how RFK had his brother's ear during the Cuban Missile Crisis? JFK had his NS adviser, Joint Chiefs, and Secretaries of State and Defense handy but ultimately listened to his Attorney General--on a matter of national security. And no one much remembers Bill Rogers, because Nixon listened more to Kissinger.

Fernandinande said...

[Trump] is notorious for yelling at staff members during moments of tension. ...

First I've heard of it.

... the NYT reports.

All is explained and Carlos is proud.

Oso Negro said...

Sigh. Yes, if Democrats would only breathe deeply, they might realize that this election was Democrat versus Democrat. With Hillary playing the 2016 Democrat and Donald Trump an 80s/90s Democrat.

Dave Hunter said...

The Democrats keep picking losing issues with which to bash Trump. I'd bet the house that he doesn't care what anyone else thinks about who he's going to have on his staff. Whatever you think of Ms. Gorelick she's a damn good lawyer and Trump has acted IAW her advice in this decision. Plus there's the Clinton connection in that in 1993 two federal judges ruled that the nepotism law didn't apply to the president's personal staff.

Sean E said...

How is a President utilizing his son-in-law as an unpaid advisor considered scandalous at the same time that the Office of the First Lady is an actual thing?

MayBee said...

I'm trying to think of how anybody in the White House could be any closer than Obama and Jarrett. They aren't blood relations, but she is mysterious, loyal, unaccountable, and he is absolutely dedicated to her. Why is it any different (except she takes a salary)?

John said...


Blogger Fernandinande said...

[Trump] is notorious for yelling at staff members during moments of tension. ...

First I've heard of it.

Me too.

First rule of reality shows seems to be drama, arguments, yelling, occasional violence.

If Trump was a yeller, it would have been played up on The Apprentice. Was it? I confess I've never seen the show.

But I've also never heard of Trump being a yeller. Not that I necessarily have a problem with that.

I have had a lot of bosses in my life. Two have stood head and shoulders above all the rest put together.

The first one was the calmest person you can imagine. He would not raise his voice if his pants were on fire. He bought a bankrupt company and sold it 20 years later for $4bn.

The other was a very excitable person and came to the company with a reputation. At the first staff meeting he gave us all bottles of Tums, telling us that he was a stressful person to work for. He was not above raising his voice and jumping up and down.

I've been unemployed since 1985. If either one of them offered me a job, of any kind, I'd take it in a heartbeat. Both got the very best out of me and that was always a satisfying feeling.

John Henry

Michael K said...

"I just finished reading "The Brothers Dulles" about CIA founder Allen Dulles and his brother John Foster Dulles, Ike's Sec State. "

I have a book somewhere (I'm moving) about the three Dulles siblings. The sister was also a serious person.

There was a story about JF Dulles, as he was dying, telling a British diplomat, "Why did you listen to us in 1956?"

Joe said...

People are missing how you do the "lawyering up" thing; you don't find the nicest, friendliest lawyer in town, you find the biggest asshole. (Another trick is to find the top six assholes, hire them all and that prevents your enemies from hiring them.)

(For her divorce, my daughter's ex hired the best lawyer in town, who had a deserved reputation as the biggest bitch, my daughter hired the second best, one of the few who had beaten the first in court. About two years later, the best hired the second best.

I hired a hopelessly average lawyer for my divorce, but she was cheap and wonderfully nice and all my ex and I needed was someone to file all the paperwork including getting a court order to split a 401k.)

ken in tx said...

[Trump] is notorious for yelling at staff members during moments of tension. ...

If this was true it would have been used in the campaign. However, Clinton WAS notorious for cursing and yelling at underlings.

Martin said...

I do not know Trump's motivations, but he is the only pol in this cycle that I can think of who has taken any action to stay in touch with those outside his immediate ideological bubble, and seek out anybody who isn't at heart a "Yes-man."

That makes this a good sign, even if it's family. It means alternative views and voices will at least get conveyed to him by someone he respects... agree or disagree.

Obama would have been far better if he had done something like this. Except of course he doesn't have any conservative friends and doesn't respect anyone other than himself.

mockturtle said...

People who worked for Trump have been overwhelmingly positive in their reports. I can't think of one instance where a former employee said he 'yelled at staff members'. If he did, in fact, yell, they apparently didn't find it demeaning.

mockturtle said...

Oh, wait...it was from a NYT article.

Alex said...

Kushner was the architect of Trump's EC victory. Also he's a big-time Zionist. That renders him the absolute enemy of the left.

readering said...

I share Bill DiBlasio's position on Kushner's appointment.

Bruce Hayden said...

I'm moving

Ditto here. Interesting that our moving paths probably come within maybe 5 miles of crossing. My partner is currently in bed sick, which means that I have plenty of time to pack. Or, repack - moving guy was in yesterday, and pointed to a bunch of boxes containing records and files that need to be repacked into uncompromised boxes (which can be stacked without exploding). Found 30-40 year old records that need to be shredded, instead of moved, so am condensing about 2-3 to 1 right now. Packing my framed diplomas, bar admissions, etc, I found that I am missing one (JD). How can you lose just one of them? And found my original undergraduate diploma (I had to order a duplicate when I was framing them a couple decades ago). So, I have the right number, just not all unique.

It is a royal pain, but my partner claims that this will be our last move. I asked about the stairs, for when one of becomes mobility impaired. Her answer was a stair lift like my mother had. I then asked about a walk-in tub, like the ones advertised on TV. She reminded me that neither of us uses a tub, and the new shower is a walk-in, without even a lip. So, I will soldier on, as she uses her head cold as an excuse to let me do all the work packing. And repacking.

madAsHell said...

The soft-spoken Mr. Kushner has often been described as having a calming effect on Mr. Trump, who is notorious for yelling at staff members during moments of tension.

I'd say that we have moved through denial, and anger. We transitioned to bargaining when Joe Biden gaveled down my representative, and said "It's over." I think the NYT statement above confirms it.

Nihimon said...

"But maybe those who like Trump should wonder about Kushner."

Something tells me a lot of folks who voted for Trump - or even just don't think Trump will be an inevitable disaster - are actually pretty liberal on social issues themselves.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Heard Gorelick in an interview yesterday afternoon on NPR. Said, to my radio, "are you fucking kidding, her?!"
I can't explain it--HOW?