White House insiders say Jared Kushner urged Trump to ‘counterattack’ over special counsel
President Donald Trump’s measured response to the special prosecutor lasted approximately 10 hours before a Twitter meltdown ensued. But according to a New York Times report, that may have been encouraged by his son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner.
According to The Times tick-tock, Trump learned of Rod Rosenstein’s decision to appoint a special prosecutor to oversee the Trump-Russia investigation at approximately 5:35 p.m. Wednesday. At that time, White House counsel Don McGhan came to inform him.
“Trump, who was looking through papers, reacted calmly but defiantly at first, according to two people familiar with the events, saying he wanted to ‘fight back,'” The Times reported.
Trump then brought the staff together, including press secretary Sean Spicer along with Reince Priebus, Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. Most of the staffers counseled Trump to respond in a level headed way “with a conciliatory stance.”
Kushner wanted to see Trump go another route and launch a counterattack. Kushner was also the aide responsible for urging Trump to fire former FBI director James Comey. The majority wanted a calm rational response and Trump agreed. The staff gathered around a computer outside of the Oval Office and drafted the statement that was ultimately released.
By the end of the night, Trump was collected and ready to move on to talk about policy and his legislative agenda. New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush cited staffers who said Trump was “uncharacteristically noncombative.”
Parroting a Fox News report, Trump tweeted out accusations against former President Barack Obama and alleged illegal activity in the campaign of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.