‘Master negotiator’ or ‘nonentity’? Kushner thrusts himself into middle of shutdown talks. – The Washington Post

‘Master negotiator’ or ‘nonentity’? Kushner thrusts himself into middle of shutdown talks. – The Washington Post

Jared Kushner

Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner listens as President Trump speaks at a Hanukkah reception at the White House on Dec. 6, 2018. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) Robert Costa National political reporter covering the White House, Congress and campaigns January 23 Jared Kushner spoke up at a recent Oval Office meeting about cutting a deal to end the government shutdown, which has been the latest project for President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. After listening to Kushner expound on policy and possible areas of compromise with Democrats, Trump glanced at the others in the room. “Apparently, Jared has become an expert on immigration in the last 48 hours, ” Trump said, according to three people familiar with the exchange who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The remark, described by one White House official as playful, underscored the latest power shift inside the White House: Kushner has emerged as an omnipresent and assertive player in the now-33-day impasse, despite deep skepticism on Capitol Hill about his political abilities and influence, according to more than a dozen Trump associates, law­makers ....

Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), haven’t heard from Kushner in weeks, according to aides. And aides to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) say he has played no role in their discussions to reopen the government.  “He is totally a nonentity, ” one senior Democratic aide said. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Kushner  "has already successfully helped negotiate deals" such as the proposed trade agreement with Mexico and Canada and criminal justice reform, "so it's no wonder the President asked him to join the negotiating team to work on a deal to open the government and secure our border." Trump’s offer in a speech last weekend — to trade temporary protections for young undocumented immigrants and others for $5.7 billion in border wall funding — had Kushner’s imprint, White House officials said, reflecting his push for a “big deal” to end the shutdown. The proposal is expected to fail in a Senate vote Thursday.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, left, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Vice President Pence walk down the steps of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 5. .

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