Speed Reads

in kushner we don't trust

White House official calls Kushner 'delusional' over shutdown negotiations

Feeling confident after helping pass criminal justice legislation, Jared Kushner is now certain he has the negotiating skills to end the government shutdown, now the longest one in U.S. history.

The Washington Post interviewed two dozen lawmakers, people close to President Trump, and friends of Kushner, all of whom had differing opinions of Kushner's political prowess. As a senior adviser and son-in-law to Trump, Kushner has his ear, and he told the president that because he has good relationships with many Senate Democrats, including Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), he feels he can reach a deal on his own. Kushner really is flying solo on this one, doing much of his work out of his West Wing office (which, apropos of nothing, has a Kanye West poster above the door) and away from other White House officials because he doesn't really trust them, the Post reports.

Every morning, Kushner meets with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and a handful of others to discuss strategy, White House aides said, and he's warned Trump against declaring a national emergency. While one senior Democratic aide described Kushner as being "totally a nonentity" and a senior White House aide called him "delusional" to think he'll end the shutdown, his old friend Ken Kurson was effusive with his praise, saying Kushner "could teach a master class in getting to yes" and has "helped the president put together a series of wins that many of those same pundits said were impossible. ... I think everyone in America, on all political sides, is glad Jared Kushner is in the room."