With White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and White Supremacist At-Large Steve Bannon having both failed Trump on repealing Obamacare, it's now time for the Nepotist-in-Chief to have a crack at the brass ring. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will now be running his own office in the White House in order to "reform American government" in order to "run it like a business".
President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.
The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump. Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements.
“All Americans, regardless of their political views, can recognize that government stagnation has hindered our ability to properly function, often creating widespread congestion and leading to cost overruns and delays,” Trump said in a statement to The Washington Post. “I promised the American people I would produce results, and apply my ‘ahead of schedule, under budget’ mentality to the government.”
In a White House riven at times by disorder and competing factions, the innovation office represents an expansion of Kushner’s already far-reaching influence. The 36-year-old former real estate and media executive will continue to wear many hats, driving foreign and domestic policy as well as decisions on presidential personnel. He also is a shadow diplomat, serving as Trump’s lead adviser on relations with China, Mexico, Canada and the Middle East.
The work of White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon has drawn considerable attention, especially after his call for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” But Bannon will have no formal role in the innovation office, which Trump advisers described as an incubator of sleek transformation as opposed to deconstruction.
The announcement of the new office comes at a humbling moment for the president, following Friday’s collapse of his first major legislative push — an overhaul of the health-care system, which Trump had championed as a candidate.
Kushner is positioning the new office as “an offensive team” — an aggressive, nonideological ideas factory capable of attracting top talent from both inside and outside of government, and serving as a conduit with the business, philanthropic and academic communities.
“We should have excellence in government,” Kushner said Sunday in an interview in his West Wing office. “The government should be run like a great American company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens.”
With Bannon and Priebus out on their asses, it's Kushner who will be leading the charge to dismantle the federal civil service. After all, running the government like a company means big cuts to services, and even bigger cuts to employees. And Kushner it seems will be Trump's axe man.
Of course, Kushner has his own problems.
The Senate Intelligence Committee will question President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as part of its investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether any collusion occurred between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
“Mr. Kushner has volunteered to be interviewed as part of the committee’s investigation into the Russian activities surrounding the 2016 election," Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner, the intel committee's chairman and vice chairman, respectively, told the New York Times in a statement.
The questions will center around Kushner's meeting with Russia's ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, in December at Trump Tower with Gen. Michael Flynn, according to the Times. Kushner will also be asked about a previously undisclosed meeting he had in December with the head of Russia's state-owned Vnesheconombank, which was sanctioned by Obama after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
A White House official told Business Insider that Kushner took the meetings as part of his role as "the official primary point of contact with foreign governments and officials."
"Throughout the campaign and transition, Jared Kushner served as the official primary point of contact with foreign governments and officials," the official said. "Given this role, he has volunteered to speak with Chairman Burr’s Committee, but has not yet received confirmation."
So the guy who ran Trump's Russian businesses is now facing Senate testimony. Meanwhile, he'll be running the executive branch.
Nice work if you can get it.