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Fri Mar 1, 2019, 04:44 PM

Frank Rich: Are Foreign Countries Benefiting From Jared Kushner's Security Clearance? [View all]


the national circus 1:38 P.M.
Are Foreign Countries Benefiting From Jared Kushner’s Security Clearance?
By Frank Rich
Most weeks, New York Magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich speaks with contributor Alex Carp about the biggest stories in politics and culture. Today, new revelations about Jared Kushner’s security clearance, the fallout from the Michael Cohen hearing, and Mark Meadows’s birtherism.



According to a report in the New York Times, Jared Kushner received his top-secret security clearance because of an “order” by Donald Trump, spurring the White House counsel and chief of staff to compose memos at the time outlining their concerns. In previous interviews with the press where they had been asked about this directly, Trump and Ivanka both seem to have lied. Should Kushner be forced to resign?

Surely you are not suggesting that Jared resign before he unveils his Middle East peace plan! In any case, there may be no way to force any of these grifters out of the White House short of handcuffs. It has long been my contention that Jared’s subconscious ambition is to follow his father, Charles, into prison. Every revelation brings him closer to his goal, starting as far back as his attempt to set up a secret communications back channel between the Trump transition and the Russians to circumvent America’s intelligence agencies. His and the Kushner family’s international dealings to secure financing for their struggling real-estate ventures since Inauguration Day have repeatedly raised the question of which country he is actually serving from his perch in the White House. Russia? Saudi Arabia? Qatar? China? Certainly there is nothing in Kushner’s record to suggest that he is loyal to the United States of America.

This latest bombshell raises a whole bunch of ancillary questions. Indeed, why did Ivanka and Jared’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, appear to lie about his devious path to his security clearance? And what about John Kelly, that good soldier who was widely praised in Washington as the “adult” in the Trump circle? We’ve already learned that he is a racist and a nativist from various incidents during his craven tenure in the administration, but now we have to wonder if he, Michael Flynn–style, betrayed his country by facilitating Jared’s access to intelligence at Trump’s insistence. He could have protested more forcibly at the time, and even now, in disgrace and retirement, he still remains silent. If Jared is a mole for a foreign power who damaged American interests, Kelly will bear partial responsibility for activating him. A plea that he was just following the boss’s orders will not get him off the hook.

But let’s not let this episode distract from the bigger picture of what Jared has been doing while armed with classified secrets and his White House role as de facto chief of staff. The three most bizarre and mysterious man-crushes in American history may be his for Mohammed bin Salman, and his father-in-law’s for Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin. We don’t know if MBS has written Jared love letters as Kim has Trump (or vice versa), but this week he had another furtive assignation with the Saudi prince, as if the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi never happened. Exactly what business — whether Kushner’s or America’s — is on the table when they canoodle? In a similar vein, the president, despite being embarrassed by the collapse of the Hanoi nuclear talks that were supposed to secure his Nobel Peace Prize, still went weirdly out his way to clear Kim of any responsibility for the brutal murder of the American student Otto Warmbier, who had been imprisoned and tortured in North Korea. Along with the other ways that the Trump operation resembles a gangster enterprise, we must always include the reality that its criminal allies are piling up corpses as surely as associates of the Gotti family once did.

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http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/03/kushner-security-clearance-do-other-countries-benefit.html?utm_source=fb&utm_campaign=nym&utm_medium=s1&fbclid=IwAR1MHwcX9hdrDJ0zgGQc8Em_gqiCeM51M0VW3_wYqKZRrerAp-0WlIb91sc

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Reply Frank Rich: Are Foreign Countries Benefiting From Jared Kushner's Security Clearance? [View all]
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