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Lazaro Gamio / Axios

President Trump's outside legal team wants to wall off Jared Kushner from discussing the Russia investigation with his father-in-law, according to sources with direct knowledge of the discussions.

  • Members of Trump's legal team — which is led by longtime Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz, and includes conservative legal firebrand Jay Sekulow — are trying to cloak their startling demand with the two-word message to Kushner: Nothing personal.
  • The team contends that it isn't out to get Kushner, but just wants to protect the president because his son-in-law is so wrapped up in the investigation. He had three meetings with Russians that special counsel Bob Mueller is sure to investigate.
  • Members of Trump's legal team are frustrated that Kushner has been discussing the investigation with the president, according to the sources.

The mechanics of the wall are unclear, but it apparently would constitute an agreement by Kushner not to discuss anything about the Russia probes with the president.

  • Why it matters: The demand could exacerbate tensions between Trump's team and Kushner's high-profile lawyers, Jamie Gorelick and Abbe Lowell. A fractured team, either because of boundaries or personal differences, could make it even harder for Trump to defend himself and at the same time pass parts of his agenda.
  • The mood: Tensions are flaring among all the factions as they try to cope with this week's revelation about a meeting arranged by Donald Trump Jr., the president's oldest son, in a quest for dirt on Hillary Clinton from a Russian lawyer.
  • Some advisers to the White House are concerned about the right-wing, base-first approach of Trump's outside legal team, which is especially attentive to Fox News' Sean Hannity. These advisers worry that the red-meat approach is insufficient, with so much at risk to the president's image and agenda.
  • On the other side, The New York Times' Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman reported that "Kasowitz and his colleagues ... have complained that Mr. Kushner has been whispering in the president's ear about the Russia investigations and stories while keeping the lawyers out of the loop."
  • The Times also quoted "three people close to the legal team" as saying Trump has also "trained his ire" on Kasowitz, because the president "has grown disillusioned by Mr. Kasowitz's strategy."
  • And ... "Kasowitz and his colleagues have been deeply frustrated by the president."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: Former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.

5 hours ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.