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Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

"Jared Kushner Is China’s Trump Card: How the President’s son-in-law, despite his inexperience in diplomacy, became Beijing’s primary point of interest," by Adam Entous and Evan Osnos in the forthcoming issue of The New Yorker.

Why it matters: "Americans are accustomed to reports of Russia’s efforts to influence American politics, but, in the intelligence community, China’s influence operations are a source of equal concern."

  • "In early 2017, shortly after Jared Kushner moved into his new office in the West Wing of the White House, ... [a] visitor who came more than once was Cui Tiankai, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States."
  • "When, during previous Administrations, Cui had visited the White House, his hosts received him with a retinue of China specialists and note-takers. Kushner, President Trump’s thirty-seven-year-old son-in-law and one of his senior advisers, preferred smaller gatherings."
  • "Cui’s frequent encounters with Kushner made some people in the U.S. government uncomfortable. On at least one occasion, they met alone, which counterintelligence officials considered risky."
  • "Among national-security specialists, Kushner’s difficulty obtaining a permanent security clearance has become a subject of fascination."
  • "He was ... added to a list of recipients of the President’s Daily Brief ... By the end of the Obama Administration, seven White House officials were authorized to receive the same version of the P.D.B. that appeared on the President’s iPad. The Trump Administration expanded the number to as many as fourteen people."

Go deeper: The full story from the New Yorker is worthy of your time.

Go deeper

Inside Trump's hunt for "disloyal" Republicans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump and his associates are systematically reshaping the Republican Party, working to install hand-picked loyalists across federal and state governments and destroy those he feels have been disloyal, sources close to the former president tell Axios.

Why it matters: If most or all of Trump’s candidates win, he will go into the 2024 election cycle with far more people willing to do his bidding who run the elections in key states.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

CPI: The new jobs number

Grocery shoppers in Washington, D.C., last month. Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images

The Consumer Price Index has replaced the jobs report as the most anticipated data drop by the U.S. government.

Why it matters: Rising prices tend to lower political fortunes. Washington and Wall Street are now waiting for the CPI number to flash at 8:30am ET around the 10th day of each month. This month's report — due Friday morning — will give a reading of how hot inflation ran in November.

COVID cases and deaths are on the rise

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

COVID-19 cases and deaths are rising all across the U.S. even before the Omicron variant takes hold.

Why it matters: The holidays — and the inevitable spread of Omicron — will only heighten the risks that unvaccinated Americans face from COVID, in all its forms.