Jared Kushner has been a common target of mockery since he entered the Trump administration, and the ridicule hasn't just come from liberals. This week, new emails from two conservative businessmen were made public — and they joked about how Ivanka Trump is the reason Jared Kushner even gets a seat at the table.
President Donald Trump assigned Kushner many jobs in the administration at the start of his tenure, including that of helping to broker peace in the Middle East. Many people were skeptical that Kushner, who lacked diplomatic experience, would be effective in that role.
Emails from Elliott Broidy and George Nader — who have been accused of lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — show they were apparently among the unconvinced. The duo allegedly expressed their disdain for Kushner in an email exchange published by the Associated Press. However, a lawyer for Broidy said the AP's story "is based on fraudulent and fabricated documents obtained from entities with a known agenda to harm Mr. Broidy." Bustle has reached out to Nader's lawyer for comment.
While they were allegedly lobbying on behalf of the two Gulf nations' crown princes, the businessmen were careful to praise Kushner's foreign policy efforts to Trump's face. But they reportedly made fun of his son-in-law in private, even referring to Kushner as a "clown prince." Nader reportedly wrote to Broidy in one email:
You have to hear in private my Brother what Principals think of 'Clown prince's' efforts and his plan! Nobody would even waste [a] cup of coffee on him if it wasn't for who he is married to.
Although Ivanka Trump's influence over the president is generally considered to be greater than that of her husband, Kushner started off with a larger role in the administration. The first daughter held no official position until she was given the title of "assistant to the president" in March 2017. Kushner, on the other hand, was immediately assigned diplomatic tasks in the Middle East, China, and Mexico, and was also tasked with helping to reform the U.S. criminal justice system, fix the opioid epidemic, improve the Veterans Affairs department, and generally "overhaul the federal bureaucracy."
From the start, many people were dubious of these appointments. Even some within the Trump administration were antagonistic toward Kushner and Ivanka Trump. As one administration official told The Daily Beast in April 2017, Steve Bannon in particular was not a Kushner fan. He "recently vented to us about Jared being a ‘globalist’ and a ‘cuck,'" the official said at the time. "He actually said ‘cuck,’ as in 'cuckservative.'"
But both Kushner and Ivanka Trump seem to have taken at least a small step back from the power center of the administration in recent months. Kushner had his security clearance downgraded in February, so he no longer has access to the "top secret" documents he was once able to view.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said that Kushner's security clearance change would not affect his ability to perform his duties. "He is a valued member of the team and will continue to do the important work he has been doing since he started in the administration," she told reporters in February.
The New York Times reported that Donald Trump even asked his chief of staff, John Kelly, to help remove his daughter and Kushner from the White House. Although the administration is attempting to put forward a composed image, it seems that the president's relationship to the couple has gotten more complicated since the inauguration. At the time, Trump told Kushner, "If you can't produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can." Now he may not be so sure.