Earlier: Where Have You Gone, Donald Trump? A Nation Turns Its Yearning Eyes To You
Could the end possibly be near for First Son-In-Law Jared Kushner now that President Trump has broken free and finally addressed the nation on the George Floyd riots Monday night; and key Fox host Tucker Carlson has roasted him? Kushner, Carlson noted, has throttled Trump’s best instincts on every issue that got him elected, most recently law and order. Kushner caused Trump to dither for days as looters and arsonists set cities ablaze. But then came Monday’s hard-nosed speech and provocative photo op. Perhaps, just perhaps, Kushner’s subversion is over. It’s the one thing Trump’s Keep American Great disciples must pray for and that would help Trump win on November 3.
On Monday night, during a blistering 32-minute monologue, Carlson fired up his flamethrower [Tucker Carlson: “No One Has More Contempt For Donald Trump's Voters Than Jared Kushner,” by Ian Schwartz, Real Clear Politics, June 1, 2020].
Two Carlson highlights:
This was a bold move by Carlson. Attacking Trump’s relatives is usually a losing battle, as former adviser Steve Bannon learned the hard way [Bannon’s Trump defense loses White House support as strains grow, by Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg, November 4, 2019].
But Carlson, who has high-level access to Trump, has had enough of Kushner, and he surely knows about Trump’s distaste for Kushner’s advice. Recall that Trump joked that Ivanka could have married all-star quarterback Tom Brady, but “instead,” The Donald said, “I got Jared Kushner.” Two years ago, Trump said, “Jared hasn’t been so good for me,” and “told friends and his chief of staff, John F. Kelly, that he wished both Jared and Ivanka would return to New York” [Still Standing, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Step Back in the Spotlight, by Maggie Haberman and Katie Rogers, New York Times, July 28, 2018].
Those instincts are right. Trump’s weekend tweets on the riots were embarrassing, banal posturing to keep Kushner happy. As fires raged in front of the White House and protestors pushed at the gates and battled Secret Service agents, Trump fled to the bunker [ More than 60 Secret Service officers and agents were injured near the White House this weekend, by Jason Hoffman, CNN, May 31, 2020; Trump briefly taken to underground bunker during Friday's White House protests, by Kaitlan Collins and Noah Gray, CNN, June 1, 2020].
Why did Trump gallop away from the sound of the guns? Because Kushner and his loyalists told Trump that hammering the rioters would hurt his minority outreach efforts [A serious divide exists among Trump advisers over how to address nights of protests and riots in US after Floyd's death, by Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak, CNN, May 31, 2020]. Ludicrously, some advisers even suggested Trump host listening sessions with Black Lives Matter activists [As Protests and Violence Spill Over, Trump Shrinks Back, by Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman, New York Times, May 31, 2020].
As conservative journalist Ryan Girdusky tweeted
“at a strategy and comms meeting earlier today, Trump aides general consensus was not to squash any riots that may happen tonight b/c it would hurt their chances at coalition building w/ minority communities ahead of the election.”
For whatever reason, on Monday — and before Carlson hosed Kushner with rhetorical napalm — the law-and-order president resurfaced. He condemned the riots, attacked Antifa, harangued governors to use the National Guard, pledged federal resources to “dominate” the lawbreakers, and vowed swift punishment for the looters and arsonists [Statement by the President, WhiteHouse.gov, June 1, 2020].
Tear gas canisters exploded in the background while he spoke, then police cleared the streets during his speech so he could walk across Lafayette Square to St. John’s Episcopal Church that arsonists torched Sunday night.
Trump’s better instincts prevailed.
But that doesn’t mean Kushner is finished.
Trump had largely ditched his message as the “Law and Order candidate,” which he called himself at the 2016 Republican National Convention when he castigated Barack Obama’s “irresponsible rhetoric” about police and race. And don’t forget this hopeful, inspiring line from his inaugural address: “American carnage stops right here.”
After his election, Trump began pushing “criminal justice reform,” hard-Left buzzwords that mean let the criminals out of jail and ignore black crime. Instead of getting tougher on criminals, Trump released hundreds of drug dealers and violent offenders. Of course, celebrities loved it, and it apparently convinced him he might win significant black vote in 2020 [Kim Kardashian West went to the White House to announce more criminal justice reforms alongside Trump, by Joe Perticone, Business Insider, June 13, 2019].
More recently, Kushner has been pushing an anodyne GOP platform that won’t bother Al Sharpton [Inside the secret talks to overhaul the GOP platform, by Jonathan Swan, Axios, May 24, 2020].
The result of this pandering: Trump is polling at 3 percent among blacks.
Well played, Jared. Any more bright ideas?
Why yes, in fact, there are. Snub Jeff Sessions—Trump’s top supporter in 2016—and endorse his primary opponent, Tommy Tuberville, in the race for Senate in Alabama. The runoff is July 14.
As attorney general, Sessions was the one man in the cabinet who opposed Kushner’s daft plan to get the black vote with a jailbreak bill. Sessions resisted “criminal justice reform” and scotched many of Barack Obama’s easy-on-crime ideas [Trump, Sessions feud spills over into dispute over policy on criminal justice reform, by Tony Pugh, McClatchyDC, August 21, 2018]. Kushner hated Sessions for it, as Girdusky has reported, and poisoned Trump’s view of Sessions by repeatedly reminding Trump that Sessions recused himself from the Russia collusion probe, something Trump regards as a betrayal.
Consider this thread from Girdusky:
Sessions warned Trump (correctly) that the First Step Act would lead to dangerous criminals being freed. That's exactly what happened time and time again.
It was Kushner that led the charge against Sessions for his run for the Senate. But sources said the Russia investigation was just a facade for the fact that he didn't want Sessions in the Senate to push back on his Second Term agenda.
Sessions was often used as a distraction for Trump to cover up multiple people's screw ups in the WH. Often times Gen. Kelly would bring up Sessions when Nielsen was in trouble. Now Russiagate is being used for Trump to endorse the pro-amnesty Tommy Tuberville.
Thus did Trump proudly sign the First Step Act, which reduced mandatory minimums and freed hundreds of hardened criminals from jail, mere weeks after sacking Sessions in 2018 [Violent criminals and sex offenders released early due to 'First Step Act' legislation, by Gregg Re, Fox News, July 22, 2019]. Since that time, Trump has shown more concern for criminals than supporting law and order partly because of his childish hatred for Sessions, a man who helped him win the presidency.
Aside from persuading Trump to ignore anarchy in the streets and stab Sessions in the back, Kushner also quickly defanged the president’s brilliant Chinese Virus immigration moratorium initiative. Kushner ensured the door was open to Chinese oligarchs and cheap labor. Our immigration system, he says, must cater to Big Business. His sabotage of Sessions is part of a Beltway GOP pattern of suppressing possible immigration patriot champions, like Kris Kobach and Steve King.
Whatever Kushner has in mind for the next four years, it won’t be what Americans have in mind. A new Morning Consult poll shows 71 percent want the National Guard used against the rioters; 58 percent want federal troops deployed. Americans want an exterminator to gas these vermin, not a rat whisperer to turn them into pets.
Democrats, including Joe Biden’s campaign staffers, are siding with the looters and anarchists and financially backing their reign of terror [Biden campaign staffers donate to group that bails out jailed Minneapolis protesters, by Dom Calicchio, Fox News, May 31, 2020]. Republicans, terrified of pro-Antifa Mainstream Media, would rather see cities burn down than get branded as racists.
That leaves one man between us and them. Donald Trump is the only politician who can restore order, which would teach ruling class elites a lesson and put him over the top in November.
But winning now and winning in five months requires one thing: He must muzzle and sideline—or better yet, fire—Jared Kushner.
Washington Watcher II [Email him] is an anonymous DC insider.