Sources close to Jared Kushner say he distanced himself from the Big Lie — others are skeptical
Sixteen months into Joe Biden’s presidency, countless MAGA Republicans — hoping to stay in former President Donald Trump’s good graces — openly promote the Big Lie and refuse to admit that Biden won the 2020 presidential election. But one Republican who hasn’t been openly pushing the Big Lie is the ex-president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who served as a White House senior adviser in the Trump Administration.
According to New York Times reporter Peter Baker, Kushner was already making plans for a post-Trump Administration life a few days after Election Night 2020 — and didn’t buy into the Big Lie.
“On Thursday, November 5, 2020, barely 24 hours after President Donald J. Trump claimed in the middle of the night that ‘frankly, we did win this election,’ Jared Kushner woke up in his Kalorama mansion and announced to his wife that it was time to leave Washington,” Baker reports in an article published on June 8. “‘We’re moving to Miami,’ he said. The election had not even been called for Joseph R. Biden Jr., but as Mr. Kushner later told the story to aides and associates, the White House’s young power couple felt no need to wait for the official results. They saw which way the votes were going and understood that, barring some unforeseen surprise, the president had lost his bid for a second term — even if he refused to accept it himself.”
\u201c"We're moving to Miami": How Jared Kushner washed his hands of Trump after the election, ceding the field to the conspiracy theorists like Giuliani who fueled the effort to overturn the will of the voters. An extract from "The Divider," with \u2066@sbg1\u2069 https://t.co/ZajtHVyFw6\u201d— Peter Baker (@Peter Baker) 1654685270
Although there was a considerable amount of turnover during Trump’s four years in the White House, Kushner and Ivanka Trump were on board throughout his presidency. But when Biden won the 2020 election, according to Baker’s sources, Kushner was ready to move on.
“No matter how vociferously Mr. Trump claimed otherwise, neither Mr. Kushner nor Ivanka Trump believed then or later that the election had been stolen, according to people close to them,” Baker explains. “While the president spent the hours and days after the polls closed complaining about imagined fraud in battleground states and plotting a strategy to hold on to power, his daughter and son-in-law were already washing their hands of the Trump presidency.”
Baker continues, “Their decision to move on opened a vacuum around the president that was filled by conspiracy theorists like Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sidney Powell, who relayed to Mr. Trump farcically false stories of dead voters, stuffed ballot boxes, corrupted voting machines and foreign plots. Concluding that the president would not listen even to family members urging him to accept the results, Mr. Kushner told Mr. Trump that he would not be involved if Mr. Giuliani were in charge, according to people he confided in, effectively ceding the field to those who would try to overturn the election.”
Baker and The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser are the authors of the forthcoming book, “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021,” due out on September 20. Baker’s reporting on Kushner’s “post-election activities” in his Times article, he notes, is based on interviews conducted for the book.
“Mr. Kushner’s decision to withdraw from the most consequential moment of the Trump presidency left few effective counterweights to the plotters seeking to subvert the will of the voters to hang on to power,” Baker reports. “While the president’s son-in-law had arguably been the most influential adviser to the president through four years, weighing in at times and carefully cultivating his reputation, he chose at that pivotal moment to focus instead on his personal project of Middle East diplomacy.”
Baker’s June 8 article has been receiving a great deal of attention on social media, and some Twitter users are skeptical that Kushner distanced himself from the Big Lie to the degree that Baker’s sources say.
Journalist Mark Jacob, a former Chicago Tribune/Chicago Sun-Times editor, dismissed the article as “image rehab” for Kushner:
\u201cYou can count on the New York Times to do image rehab for political criminals like Jared Kushner. https://t.co/Unrov6Bw2b\u201d— Mark Jacob (@Mark Jacob) 1654703692
\u201cThe New York Times wants us to think fondly of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump because they (supposedly) didn't want to overthrow American democracy but were simply trying to use their government positions to pocket billions of dollars from foreign murderers.\u201d— Mark Jacob (@Mark Jacob) 1654703692
Journalist Craig Calcaterra was highly critical as well, slamming the Times as “Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump's P.R. operation.”
\u201cIt is absolutely amazing how often the New York Times has served as Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump's P.R. operation. Like, is there a paper I can call with self-serving stories, sourced to "people close to Calcaterra," and get them run? https://t.co/kny0JnhACe\u201d— Craig Calcaterra (@Craig Calcaterra) 1654691001
Other Twitter users cautioned against viewing Kushner in a favorable light. Here are some of their comments:
\u201cJared washed his hands of Trump on election night, that\u2019s why January 6 happened. The Trump years would have been so much worse without the moderating influence of Jared.\n\nThis is the bucket of horseshit that @peterbakernyt & @nytimes is pedaling.\n\nShame.\n\nhttps://t.co/fXrvEi390u\u201d— Howard A. Rodman (@Howard A. Rodman) 1654705153
\u201c@adamgoldmanNYT @peterbakernyt So the @nytimes has taken up the mantle of the Kushner/Ivanka rehabilitation effort, huh? \n\nSHOCKER: "People close to..." = their publicist.\u201d— Adam Goldman (@Adam Goldman) 1654688517
\u201c@nytimes @peterbakernyt , please resign and go to work with Kushner's PR firm.\u201d— The New York Times (@The New York Times) 1654698305
\u201c@nytimes A grifter. Trump got installed to help Putin invade Ukraine, and destroy NATO. Then he made business deals, stoked racism and fear. Then he golfed. He allowed anyone in that administration to make deals with anyone that would have them. Kushner and Ivanka made millions.\u201d— The New York Times (@The New York Times) 1654658584
\u201c@sbg1 @peterbakernyt No they did not walk away, Ivanka was in the tent standing next to her father before the rally. Enough with helping Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump try to distance themselves. They walked away when failure was evident, not when crimes were happening. @nytimes, this is morally wrong.\u201d— Susan Glasser (@Susan Glasser) 1654690978
\u201cDeath, taxes and the New York Times writing stories that portraying Jared and Ivanka as the "reasonable ones"... https://t.co/bAkCBgCau4\u201d— Doug Gordon (@Doug Gordon) 1654691913
\u201c@MarkJacob16 "No matter how vociferously Mr. Trump claimed otherwise, neither Mr. Kushner nor Ivanka Trump believed then or later that the election had been stolen."\n\nAnd yet they said zip as TFG & his GOP goons orchestrated a massive PSYOP on the country in order to stage a coup. #complicit\u201d— Mark Jacob (@Mark Jacob) 1654703692
\u201cAccess journalism helped enable the Trump family swindle America and it lives yet in reporting by @peterbakernyt. Today\u2019s \u201cbig scoop\u201d bf the Jan6 hearing: Kushner isn\u2019t responsible for Jan6. Com\u2019n now.\n\nBut still I choose to hope that @nytimes will reclaim its greatness. #Jan6\u201d— Luke Brussel (@Luke Brussel) 1654697913
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