The author of a forthcoming book on President Donald Trump's children agreed with Rudy Giuliani that Jared Kushner was, when it comes down to it, ultimately "disposable."
The former New York City mayor told Fox News host that the president's son-in-law could be tossed overboard if the special counsel probe implicated Ivanka Trump, and Vanity Fair reporter Emily Jane Fox put those remarks into context on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"I think it obviously came off as a joke," Fox said, "and what he was trying to say was in a joking manner, but in all jokes there's some truth, right? Every comedian knows that."
Fox said she gained some insight into the president's relationship with his son-in-law while reporting her book, "Born Trump," and she said his loyalty had limits.
"I have talked to a handful of people," Fox said, "especially in reporting the book and for Vanity Fair, who are close to the president, who have been close to him for years, who said if it comes down to it, there's no question that Jared is going to be thrown under the bus. If the president is presented with a choice of saving himself or his son-in-law, Jared is out before you can say Jared."
Daniel Goldman, a former deputy U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said Kushner was closely involved with Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Russia probe, and Paul Manafort, who has been indicted on numerous charges.
"Bob Mueller is keeping the collusion aspect very close to his vest," Goldman said, "and I would expect at some point that is going to come out and people should be nervous, Jared Kushner should be nervous, Roger Stone is someone who should be nervous, Paul Manafort -- there may be more indictments against him. We have not heard the last of it, but we don't hear very much about Kushner, but I don't think that means Bob Mueller is not focusing on him."
Co-host Mika Brzezinski said Kushner was a strong supporter during the transition of Flynn, who served briefly as Trump's first national security adviser, and Giuliani, who did not join the White House but now serves as a legal adviser to the president.
"He was very much a supporter of Rudy being Secretary of State," Brzezinski said. "He wanted that, he was pushing that in a big way, and he was extremely defensive of Michael Flynn. He said, 'You've got to understand, you may not support Michael Flynn as national security adviser, but he really understands Donald, he travels with him' -- these are Jared's words. 'He calms him down.'"
Flynn was pushed out for lying about his communications during the transition with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and he pleaded guilty late last year to lying to FBI agents about those contacts.
"They have a special relationship, a bond where they're always together, always talking," Brzezinski said, paraphrasing Kushner. "Flynn kind of -- he didn't use this word, but almost babysits him, is always minding him, and Jared was the one who was constantly pushing those relationships between Rudy Giuliani and Michael Flynn and obviously -- follow the money."
The conversation then moved into a discussion of Kushner's "complicated" financial dealings, but co-host Willie Geist interrupted to reflect on what Brzezinski had said about her private discussions with the president's son-in-law.
"Listening to your description, that's an insane qualification for the job -- the care and feeding of the president," Geist said.