Kushner’s White House role is both ‘all-powerful and make-believe’ as he focuses on Trump's re-election: NYT
Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump via Twitter

Senior White House advisor Jared Kushner's evolving role in working for his father-in-law, the president of the United States, was highlighted by Donald Trump's recent confrontation with Iran, The New York Times reported Thursday evening.

"When senior administration officials gathered in the Situation Room on Tuesday for a meeting to discuss the repercussions of the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Vice President Mike Pence had a seat at the table. So did Robert O’Brien, the national security adviser, and Mark T. Esper, the defense secretary. But the White House aide whose portfolio is the Middle East was notably absent from the meeting," the newspaper reported.

Where was Kushner during the life-and-death standoff?

"Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, was sitting for a photo shoot for a planned Time magazine cover story," the newspaper reported.

"He was also absent from the Situation Room later in the day when it was clear Iran was launching an attack on American forces and the same officials rush backed, joined by Mr. Trump and West Wing aides like Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, and Stephanie Grisham, the press secretary," The Times explained. "Over the past two weeks, Mr. Kushner has had little visible part in what has been Mr. Trump’s most high-stakes moment as commander in chief, the starkest example of how much his role in the White House is changing as the Trump presidency enters its fourth year."

The newspaper reported Kushner is "positioning himself to be the overseer" of Trump's 2020 re-election campaign.

Despite ethical and legal questions, Kushner is trying to run his father-in-law's re-election campaign out of his taxpayer-funded office in the White House.

"Unlike the behind-the-scenes role he played in the 2016 campaign — where he was seen as a key figure but, campaign aides said, never took a title and avoided blame — Mr. Kushner is positioning himself now as the person officially overseeing the entire campaign from his office in the West Wing, organizing campaign meetings and making decisions about staffing and spending," the newspaper reported.

"His floating “senior adviser” status that functions outside of any formal chain of command has given him a role that seems simultaneously all-powerful and make-believe," The Times reported.