Jared Kushner is now trying to take over as Trump's chief of staff: report
Since the announcement that John Kelly will be leaving the White House early next year, President Donald Trump's search for a new chief of staff has not been going well. Ever since Trump's first choice, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Nick Ayers, declined the position, the White House has been considering a series of increasingly desperate options including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows.
But according to the Huffington Post, there could be one leading contender who slipped under the radar: Trump's son-in-law:
Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump's daughter Ivanka and already an official White House adviser, met with Trump Wednesday about the job, a top Republican close to the White House told HuffPost. He and two others close to Trump or the White House who confirmed Kushner's interest in the position did so on condition of anonymity to discuss the president's staffing considerations freely.
Kushner has been pushing his own candidacy with Trump, citing his work on a criminal justice reform package and a claimed ability to work with Democrats, one person said. "I don't know why he thinks that, when the Democrats are mainly going to be coming after Trump," the source said.
Kushner taking over as White House chief of staff would be problematic for several reasons.
First of all, Kushner is not even qualified for the advisory position he has right now, let alone the foremost managerial role over day-to-day White House operations. Second of all, Trump giving his son-in-law a major, paid role in his administration would seem to violate the spirit of anti-nepotism laws, although Trump's Justice Department has rather narrowly defined these laws to only include people working in "agencies." Third, Kushner has already shown himself rife with conflicts of interest in his White House work, he and his wife having aggressively pushed a policy in the GOP tax law that they stand to make money from.
But the fact is that Trump is running out of other people to take the job, and there are serious obstacles to hiring the alternatives. Christie, for example, may face an uphill battle in getting the job because Kushner, whose father was prosecuted by Christie when he was a U.S. attorney, could object to him.
Ultimately, Kushner being made chief of staff would be a gross attack on norms by this presidency â€• but nothing about it would be out of character.