According to a report from Politico recently installed White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is tiptoeing through a minefield as he works to serve not only at the pleasure of Donald Trump but also Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner who also happens to be the president’s son-in-law.
Meadows, as the report notes, already had a good relationship with the White House and Kushner before he stepped down from his seat representing North Carolina in the House, but is now becoming more aware of how much power Kushner now wields after three-plus years of doing the president’s bidding.
“Six weeks into his tenure as chief of staff, Meadows is adjusting to the ways of a White House, where the president often announces policy changes with little discussion and many decisions become opportunities for various factions to advance their agendas,” Politico’s Anita Kumar wrote. “And Kushner is the figure who has consistently loomed large over those choices, according to nine current and former senior administration officials and Republicans close to the White House, most of whom did not want to use their name to speak freely.”
Case in point, Meadows had to back down recently after he pushed the idea of elevating controversial Trump adviser Stephen Miller to a more influential position
“When the White House’s top domestic policy job came open in recent weeks, newly installed chief of staff Mark Meadows was quick to suggest a surprising name: Stephen Miller,” Kumar wrote. “The proposal, described by three people familiar with the situation, would place Miller, the hard-charging force behind the administration’s immigration policies, in a more well-defined role as Meadows worked to reshape the West Wing. But Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, intervened. He suggested others he had worked with at the White House. Eventually Derek Lyons, who is viewed as close to Kushner, became the new acting director of the Domestic Policy Council.”
As Kumar explained, “The episode provided an early and important lesson for Meadows: The White House is rife with competing power centers, and Kushner is often the most powerful force behind Trump himself.”
The report notes that Kushner’s influence in the White House has increased as White House chiefs of staff have come and gone, and Meadows is now facing a deeply entrenched power player.
“Those are the realities,” explained a Republican who is close to Trump. “If Jared’s role has changed, it has only increased. His portfolio has grown. The president trusts him implicitly.”
According to Leon Panetta, who served as President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, “You’ve got to tiptoe around the White House to make sure you’re not only … not offending the president, but not offending somebody who is close to the president. You could wind up having both of them blame you for things that go wrong. It just makes it very difficult. That job is tough enough without having to worry about personal relationships.”
“People realize when they go work in the White House, Jared is the shadow chief of staff,” explained a former Senate Republican staffer. “He’s family. He’s been with the president since the campaign.”
“Meadows has tried to make his staffing mark in other ways, most notably in the press shop, where he pushed out press secretary Stephanie Grisham and installed several staffers he had worked with previously,” the report states before noting that Kushner had a hand in those moves too. “The moves left others worried that a broader shakeup was coming to the West Wing. But three people familiar with the situation say the changes also came at the urging of Kushner, who had complained in recent months that the communications and press officers were too passive.”
“Jared was the force behind that,” an ex-senior administration official pointed out. “But he pushed Meadows to do it.”
You can read more here.
GOP operatives linked to Kayne West’s presidential bid in potential ‘spoiler’ effort: NYT
There are questions as to whether Kanye West is running a "spoiler" bid for president to help re-elect his friend, Donald Trump, according to a new report by The New York Times.
"At least four people who have been active in Republican politics are linked to Kanye West’s attempt to get on the presidential ballot this year. The connection raises questions about the aims of the entertainer’s effort and whether it is regarded within the G.O.P. as a spoiler campaign that could aid President Trump, even as those close to Mr. West have expressed concerns about his mental health as he enters the political arena," the newspaper reported.
Kris Kobach ridiculed after losing comeback bid in Kansas: ‘Adios amigo’
Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is the projected loser of the state's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Kobach, a longtime crusader against immigration, headed up President Donald Trump's so-called "voter fraud commission" before it was disbanded after failing to identify any widespread instances of fraud.
Kobach unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018.
Here's some of what people were saying about Kobach's defeat:
Maddow reveals the ‘shocking sign’ the White House may be betting Trump is going to lose in 2020
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow returned from vacation to host the Tuesday evening edition of her MSNBC show.
Maddow noted, "in 91 days we all get to decide if the guy who's currently in charge of how we're responding to this epidemic should stay in the job for four more years or if Democratic candidate Joe Biden would do better at this."
"It's honestly hard to know what it will be like for a president to stand for re-election with 200,000 dead Americans as a key metric from his first term, while he asks for a second term, but we're going to talk tonight about how some of that is going to work and some of what we can see coming down the pike," she explained. "And a lot of it is very worrying, in terms of the institutions of our democracy and what we count on to keep us a constitutional republic."