Feb 28, 2018

Scoop: Trump family v. John Kelly

Photos: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The Trump family — and the president's oldest son, Don Jr., in particular — was angry about the overwhelmingly negative TV coverage about Jared Kushner last night, and feels White House Chief of Staff Kelly is hanging Jared out to dry, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Over the past few weeks I’ve found fewer people internally willing to defend Jared. Politically, I’ve never seen him so exposed.

Javanka and Kelly are locked in a death match. Two enter. Only one survives.
— A White House official

How the battle played out publicly ... "Kelly downgraded Jared Kushner's security clearance [last Friday] from 'Interim Top Secret' to 'Interim Secret,'" per Axios' Alexi McCammond:

  • Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said Kushner's work won't be affected.
  • Why it matters, per N.Y. Times: "[H]is official portfolio inside the West Wing, especially with regard to his globe-trotting foreign affairs work on behalf of President Trump, is expected to be sharply reduced."

Article of the day ... WashPost lead story, "Foreign officials sought leverage over Kushner":

  • "Among those nations discussing ways to influence Kushner to their advantage were the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico."
  • "It is unclear if any of those countries acted on the discussions, but Kushner’s contacts with certain foreign government officials have raised concerns inside the White House and are a reason he has been unable to obtain a permanent security clearance."
  • Why it matters: "Officials in the White House were concerned that Kushner was 'naive and being tricked' in conversations with foreign officials, some of whom said they wanted to deal only with Kushner directly and not more experienced personnel."

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