Speed Reads

Trump Palace Intrigue

Jared Kushner's shrinking White House role now focuses on solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

President Trump's son-in-law and unpaid senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has an increasingly limited role in the White House, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Saturday.

In the early days of the Trump administration, Kushner had a broad purview with walk-in privileges in the Oval Office. Since Chief of Staff John Kelly took office, however, Kushner's responsibilities have shrunk considerably. He is still tasked with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Kelly reportedly made clear Kushner is under his authority and will not operate independently of the White House staff structure.

"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," Trump told the Times in a forwarded email, calling Kushner "very effective."

Kushner himself described his position's evolution to the Post in the language of fable. "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," he said. Now, having appreciated the difficulty of solving one of the world's most intractable conflicts, Kushner has "became more like the hedgehog," devoting specialized attention to one key issue.