Trump Says Jared Kushner Gave Up A "Very Easy Life" To Work In The White House
At the White House on Monday night, Trump said Jared Kushner gave up a "very easy life" to work for the president's administration. POTUS was speaking at an event on prison reform, a topic which Kushner has prioritized in the last couple of years. In fact, according to the president, his son-in-law sacrificed quite a bit to dedicate himself to the cause, among other issues.
At a prison reform event held at the White House, as captured by CBS News, Trump said,
Jared had a very easy life. He was doing phenomenally in New York, everything he touched just turned to gold, and then one day he said, 'I want to come down and have peace in the Middle East and I want to [do] criminal justice reform, I want to do all these wonderful things'... and his life became extremely complex.
That last comment drew a chorus of laughter. Trump continued, "And he wouldn't trade it. I don't think he'd trade it, because what he's doing is incredible and he is doing great in the Middle East." Then, Trump seemed to address Kushner directly, saying, "Someday, I think you're going to have something very important to sign ... you're doing a great job."
Kushner's involvement in prison reform has been a constant under the Trump administration; according to The New York Times, Kushner was a central factor in the passing of a bipartisan criminal justice overhaul bill last December. What's more, his involvement in prison reform is a personal issue for him, as his father spent 14 months in a federal prison in Alabama, serving out his convictions for charges related to tax evasion, witness tampering, and making illegal donations, per The Times.
Last October, Kushner opened up about his personal experience with the issue, citing it as "close to my heart" after he had to watch what his father went through, while he was at CNN's inaugural Citizen Conference. Specifically, he said, "There was one issue that was very close to my heart because I had a personal experience, which was prison reform." At that same conference, Kushner argued that the president cared about it as much as he did, saying, via CNN, "He also has a lot of compassion that not a lot of people get to see as much as I do, and this is an issue that really has his heart. I think he sees this as a fairness issue."
On Monday night, Kushner did not acknowledge the praise POTUS layered onto him, nor did he address POTUS' claim that Kushner had an "easy life" prior to the presidency. But he did give a rare Fox News interview, where he talked about a number of topics.
At one point, Kushner addressed the controversy over the Mueller report, saying in part, "I wish [congressional Democrats] luck...[but] talking about this nonsense further, especially after two years and being wrong so many times, is just really not productive and quite frankly, it’s kind of an embarrassment for our democracy."