U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly confirmed that he intends to appoint his son-in-law Jared Kushner as a mediator who will try to broker a peace agreement in the Middle East.
- Trump names Jared Kushner as senior adviser to U.S. president
- Kushner foundation donated to West Bank settlement projects
- Hundreds of thousands in donations tie Kushners and Trump to Chabad movement
- Trump team disavows U.S.-Jewish businessman who discussed Jerusalem embassy move with Abbas
Trump made the confirmation, which he had mentioned as an option in the past, in an interview with The Times of London published on Sunday night.
Trump officially announced last week that Kushner, 35, will serve as an adviser in his White House, an appointment that could face legal difficulties, since anti-nepotism laws in the U.S. specifically forbid government officials to promote or appoint their own sons-in-law within the government agencies they work for. Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, is considered one of the closest people to the president-elect and played a major role in his election victory.
Trump did not provide specific details last week regarding what Kushner's exact fields of responsibility in the administration would be, but his statement in the Times interview fits with a number of past remarks in which he mentioned his son-in-law, an Orthodox Jew, as his possible envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He made one such reference in a briefing to the editorial board of the New York Times.
Kushner, however, is not the only appointee who seems to enjoy Trump's trust on this issue. Last month Trump announced that Jason Greenblatt, a New York-based attorney who served as his adviser on Israel during the presidential campaign, will also deal with negotiations in the Middle East, in his capacity as a special adviser on international agreements. Greenblatt has worked for Trump's companies for decades. It remains to be seen how exactly he and Kushner will divide the peace-brokering responsibilities.
In his interview with the Times, Trump also urged the U.K. to veto any new UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel, and called the nuclear deal with Iran "one of the dumbest deals I’ve ever seen."
Trump also said that "Brexit is going to end up being a great thing” and that he would consider a new nuclear arms reduction deal with Russia. "They have sanctions on Russia — let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia. For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it," Trump said.