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Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

There's an unusual echo on the front pages of the N.Y. Times and WashPost, which have nearly identical stories about the "waning public role" of Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser.

Be smart: Kushner allies say he has embraced and encouraged this new reality — playing by the rules of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who was installed with his support.

  • Kushner had irritated some colleagues with his high profile, which made him an even bigger target. So he has shrunk externally to stay viable internally.

The juiciest bits from the N.Y. Times:

  • "Kushner, ... who had been in seemingly every meeting and every photograph, has lately disappeared from public view and, according to some colleagues, taken on a more limited role behind the scenes."
  • "He is still forging ahead on a plan to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, ... and he has been credited with focusing attention on the government's technological needs. But he is no longer seen as the primary presidential consigliere with the limitless portfolio."
  • Kelly has told associates: "Jared works for me."
  • Kelly in an interview: "There was honestly never a time when I contemplated getting rid of Jared and Ivanka."
  • Kelly said the Office of American Innovation, run by Kushner, had demonstrated its value, noting that he had recently sent some members of its team to Puerto Rico to report back on conditions.
  • "[I]n an email forwarded by the White House, the president said ... he still relied on Mr. Kushner. 'Jared is working very hard on peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and the last thing I would ever do is get in the way of that possibility.'"

And the WashPost:

  • "His still-evolving role in the investigations of Russian election interference and possible obstruction of justice also make him a potential risk to President Trump."
  • "In a rare interview in his West Wing office earlier this month — a silver bowl of Halloween candy still on the table — Kushner offered his own version of the fable of the fox, who knows many things, and the hedgehog, who knows one important thing."
  • Kushner: "During the campaign, I was more like a fox than a hedgehog. I was more of a generalist having to learn about and master a lot of skills quickly."
  • Kushner continues: "When I got to D.C., I came with an understanding that the problems here are so complex — and if they were easy problems, they would have been fixed before — and so I became more like the hedgehog, where it was more taking issues you care deeply about, going deep and devoting the time, energy and resources to trying to drive change."

Flashback ... Axios on Oct. 2, "Jared and Ivanka shrink roles to shield themselves" ... Vanity Fair on Nov. 21, "'Kelly has clipped his wings.'"

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Go deeper

Updated 15 mins ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.