Mainstream news outlets in the United States are exploding with revelations about Jared Kushner’s contacts with Russian officials and asking “Is Jared Kushner Doomed?” This has prompted the right and left fringes of the political conversation on social media and websites to ramp up their rhetoric against President Donald Trump’s son-in-law to new heights.
- Trump confidants reportedly suggest Kushner take leave of absence over Russia probe
- Senate Judiciary Committee chief calls for probe into Kushner Companies' 'potentially fraudulent misrepresentations'
- Kushner's coordinating with Russians simply 'not a crime,' says Alan Dershowitz
In the most extreme cases, that rhetoric is blatantly conspiratorial and anti-Semitic. On Wednesday, former KKK leader and neo-Nazi David Duke filled his Twitter feed with allegations focusing on Kushner’s support and affiliation with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement which he calls a “vicious, anti-Gentile hate organization.”
On his radio broadcast website, Duke called Kushner and “Jewish extremist and corrupt fraudster who is the most powerful person in the United States government other than the president” and noted that “the Zionist-controlled media never even points out” his connection to Chabad.
In alt-right circles, Kushner has long been depicted as the source of trouble within the Trump administration - viewed with suspicion as favoring globalist Wall Street policies, and countering the more populist “America First” agenda driven by Steve Bannon, former chief of the alt-right platform Breitbart.com.
While others in the White House inner circle implicated in the Russia investigation are more enthusiastically defended by Trump’s supporters, Kushner, who is dealing with press reports that he was behind attempts to set up a secret back channel to the Kremlin, has enjoyed far less support. The reasons given for this vary. Some, like Duke, and InfoWars's Alex Jones contend that, unbeknownst to his father-in-law he was indeed the source of a nefarious plot with the Russians - Jones has called Kushner a “double agent.” Others have an even more conspiratorial view, contending that he is not a Russian mole, but a liberal Democratic mole in Trumpworld. The Russia plot, they believe, was cooked up by Kushner and his leftist conspirators in order to sabotage and undermine his father-in-law’s administration and conservative agenda.
While not anti-Semitic in nature, the attacks on Kushner from Trump’s opponents in the far left have also grown harsher and more strident - moving from calls for him to have his security clearance taken away or for him to be fired, to calls for his arrest.
Left-wing political commentator Keith Olbermann, on the latest episode of his web series “The Resistance” declared: “I call for the immediate arrest of Jared Kushner. If he should not be suspected of money laundering, racketeering, and influence peddling, then he should be suspected of obstruction of justice and espionage and possibly worse.”
Over the course of the eight-minute video, he repeated the mantra “Arrest Kushner now,” no fewer than 13 times, as he recounted the mounting charges against the senior White House aide involving his alleged attempts to open a back-channel with Russian diplomats during the transition period and other improprieties, quoting from the Espionage Act to support his position and calling him, along with other White House officials and Trump himself “traitors to this country.”
Both Breitbart and the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer - normally not fans of the liberal and viscerally anti-Trump Olbermann took note of the Kushner video.
Choosing to ignore Olbermann’s indictment of other White House officials and focusing solely on Kushner, Stormer editor Andrew Anglin wrote: “I fully endorse Olbermann’s assessment, and I believe Trump should too. All of this Russian conspiracy nonsense can now be pinned on the Jew Kushner. If an investigation is opened up into this Jew, it will no doubt reveal ties between him and the anti-Trump Jews and perverts/traitors plotting the downfall of Donald Trump – Schiff, Clapper, Comey, McCain, Schumer, et al.”
He called for Trump to “throw Kushner under the bus” so that an “investigation will lead to his connections to the entire conspiracy apparatus trying to stage this coup against him.”
As controversy swirled around him, Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, was taking time away from the White House to observe the two-day holiday of Shavuot. The Daily Mail published photographs of Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kushner’s brother Joshua and the couple’s three children heading to services at their Chabad-Lubavitch affiliated synagogue on Wednesday.