Donald Trump’s consternation with son-in-law Jared Kushner started after he urged the president to fire former FBI Director James Comey—a highly controversial move that ultimately resulted in the appointment of a special prosecutor in the ongoing investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. According to the New York Times, Kushner was certain the decision would be a political “win.”
Kushner’s status in the White House came under scrutiny Friday, when the Washington Post first reported he spoke with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak about establishing a backchannel line of communication between Russian officials and the Trump transition team. The White House has refused comment on that report.
Saturday, the Post reported some White House aides have engaged in discussions over whether Kushner should take a leave of absence as scandals engulf the White House.
Further complicating the president’s relationship with Kushner are his son-in-laws fruitless attempts to oust chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon. According to the Times, Kushner believes the barrage of negative leaks about his team are spearheaded by Bannon, who considers Trump’s son-in-law a “globalist” and compares him to “the air” for the way he blows in and out of the White House.
Another setback in the Trump-Kushner relationship—concern over Kushner’s sister Nicole Meyer’s pitch to Chinese businesspeople earlier this month.
The Times reports the president “increasingly [includes]” Kushner in lectures to the staff.
In a statement, Trump denied a growing strain in his relationship with his son-in-law.
“Jared is doing a great job for the country,” Trump said. “I have total confidence in him. He is respected by virtually everyone and is working on programs that will save our country billions of dollars. In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he is a very good person.”