It often seems that when there is an allegation against Donald Trump that Jared Kushner will somehow be intimately involved. The list is long and growing, but most famously includes the infamous Trump Tower meeting and post-election/pre-inauguration meetings with prominent Russians with ties to the Kremlin. One thing I thought Kushner was probably free of was dealings with David Pecker and the National Enquirer. I was wrong.
Shortly after the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was handed a task considered critical to the president’s operations. In addition to serving as a senior adviser in the White House, he would also be playing the role of the main conduit between Trump and his friend David Pecker, the National Enquirer publisher and chief executive of AMI, who prosecutors said on Wednesday admitted to making a $150,000 hush-money payment “in concert with” the Trump campaign.
During the early months of the Trump era, Kushner performed the task admirably, discussing with Pecker various issues over the phone, including everything from international relations to media gossip, according to four sources familiar with the situation. Pecker, for his part, bragged to people that he was speaking to the president’s son-in-law and, more generally, about the level of access he had to the upper echelons of the West Wing, two sources with knowledge of the relationship recounted.
Nonetheless, Kushner is on the short list to be the president’s next chief of staff, and it’s beginning to look like that list might be down to two people. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took himself out of contention for the position on Friday which, according to Reuters, means that only Kushner and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer remain as contenders.
If Lighthizer has any sense, he will steer well clear of the Oval Office, and that will leave Kushner as the only option left for The Donald.