New York Times Editorial Urges Trump to Send Jared Kushner Away: 'He's in Over His Head'

The New York Times questions Jared Kushner's fitness for his job, including negotiating Israeli-Palestinian peace

Jared Kushner, senior White House adviser, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., May 31, 2017.
T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg

The New York Times on Friday urged U.S. President Donald Trump to rethink his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner's White House position.

In an editorial, the newspaper said that Kushner's dealings with Russian officials suggest that the adviser, "who had no experience in politics or diplomacy before Mr. Trump’s campaign, is in way over his head."  

Kushner is under FBI scrutiny in connection with the investigation into Russia-Trump campaign connections. Last month, it was reported that Kushner proposed setting up a secret back channel between the Kremlin and the Trump transition team during a December meeting with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. The communication was reportedly meant to be conducted through Russian diplomatic facilities so as to remain hidden from U.S. intelligence. This would have put Kushner and others at risk for extortion, the NYT noted.  

Kushner later failed to disclose some of his contacts with Russian officials on his application for security clearance. 

" At a minimum, this pattern of meetings and concealment, whether by design or through carelessness, raises larger concerns about Mr. Kushner’s fitness for the hugely consequential role Mr. Trump has given him — a vast portfolio of responsibilities that includes negotiating Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and reinventing the federal government," the editorial said.

The New York Times suggested that suspending Kushner's security clearance, as Democrats in Congress are demanding, is not enough. Trump, it said, should encourage Kushner to leave Washington.

 "Given Mr. Trump’s clannish reflexes and obsession with loyalty, he is unlikely to encourage such a move, but he should, in his own interest as well as the public’s," the editorial said. "His son-in-law, a man he won’t fire, his closest and perhaps most influential confidant and executive, is already struggling with his role — and is now dealing with the distraction of an active investigation. No other White House — no business, except maybe a wholly owned and rather tawdry and occasionally bankrupt casino operation — would be run this way."