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Jared Kushner Could Be Made Secretary of State in Second Trump Term, and No, That’s Not a Joke


One of the funniest—“funniest”—subplots to Donald Trump’s time in the White House was the contention that his son-in-law Jared Kushner could and would bring peace to the Middle East. “If [Jared] can’t produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can,” Trump declared on the eve of his inauguration, adding, “All my life, I’ve been hearing that’s the toughest deal to make, but I have a feeling Jared is going to do a great job.” Spoiler alert: Jared did not do a great job, and that’s despite reading “25 books” on the matter, which as he suggested in January of 2020 made him a bona fide expert. Instead, Kushner:

  • Laid out an “economic vision” for peace in the region that garnered such reviews, from actual Middle East experts, as “The authors of the plan clearly understand nothing” and “[This] is the Monty Python sketch of Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives…. Leaving aside that this reads like an investment prospectus for a project that an intern conceived of a week ago, literally none of it is actionable.”
  • Enlisted WeWork founder Adam Neumann to help “produce a slick video…that would showcase what an economically transformed West Bank and Gaza would look like,” which Kushner showed at a conference in Bahrain after his widely panned economic plan was laid out.
  • Came up with the Abraham Accords, which established formal relations between Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates—three countries that already had significant ties, and were not at war—and, per The Guardian, “made little mention of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
  • Wildly claimed that the Abraham Accords “exposed the [Israel-Palestinian] conflict as nothing more than a real-estate dispute.”
  • Proclaimed, “We are witnessing the last vestiges of what has been known as the Arab-Israeli conflict” and basically declared, “mission accomplished.”

Except, y’know, not so much. Nevertheless, on Tuesday, in an article about the people who could make up Trump’s cabinet in a potential second term, Axios reported this insane news, sourced to people who “talk often” with Trump:

Jared Kushner, who was a huge power center in Trump’s West Wing, has mostly kept his distance from the campaign so far—but might well return to the White House if his father-in-law wins again, with a continued interest in Middle East policy.

But wait, it gets worse:

Because Kushner would be talking with Trump’s authority to world leaders anyway, one option would be secretary of state.

Over the summer, Gabriel Sherman reported that while Kushner and Ivanka Trump were unlikely to join the campaign, the former first son-in-law might well join the administration. “Now that the president is 40 points ahead, of course Jared is pretending he’s involved. If he’s president again, Jared needs to protect his turf, especially in the Middle East,” a former Trump administration official said. While Kushner himself declined to comment, a source familiar with his thinking told Sherman: “Jared thinks the team running the campaign is doing a terrific job and has zero intention to get involved. He is laser-focused on his family and on growing his business.”

Speaking of Kushner’s business, that, in addition to his no-good, very-bad job concerning the Middle East, would be high on the list of reasons he shouldn’t be made secretary of state, or even the assistant to the assistant to the assistant secretary of state. As The New York Times reported last year, shortly after leaving the White House, Kushner’s newly formed private-equity firm received a $2 billion check from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board happens to be led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (i.e., the guy Kushner reportedly urged Trump to support following the murder and dismemberment of Saudi dissident and US resident Jamal Khashoggi under the assumption that the situation would blow over).

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