In Iraq, Trump's son-in-law Kushner goes to base 10 miles from Mosul
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 06, 2017,
Apr 06, 2017, 9:15
Despite a lack of previous government experience, the 36-year-old senior adviser to President Donald Trump has been tasked by his father-in-law to solve some of the world's most complex and confounding political problems domestically and overseas.
The meeting with al-Abadi came after some confusion regarding Kushner's whereabouts Monday morning. Such visits from high-ranking officials are typically kept secret out of security concerns. The official was not authorized to speak about confidential meetings by name and demanded anonymity.
After Trump won the presidential election in November, he announced Kushner would be in charge of resolving one of the most intractable diplomatic problems of the 20th century: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Trump team, with its acute sense of victimhood, surely ought to have realized that a member of the President's immediate family would be a tempting target in a war zone; perhaps they figured that the American and Iraqi militaries would dispatch so many troops to guard him that there was nothing to fear, for Kushner, at least. He has been deeply involved with presidential staffing, recently launched a task force meant to modernize government using lessons drawn from the private sector, and has played the role of shadow diplomat, advising on relations with the Middle East, Canada and Mexico.
As Tamara reports, "Kushner has also been tasked with liaising with the Mexican government, working to find peace in the Middle East, and leading an effort to modernize the USA government". According to a source familiar with what transpired, Kushner's interactions with Russians during the transition as a point man "looking for the right person to engage with on Russia", further reflection of his elevated status within Trump's sphere. The White House confirmed last week that he had volunteered to be interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sen.
Whether or not Kushner may be able to successfully influence Trump on matters of defense and foreign policy - perhaps at the behest of defense officials - remains to be seen. Kushner served a similar role in arranging a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The visit to the Hammam al-Alil base allowed them to get an operational briefing from Iraqi and USA commanders. In back-to-back visits, two senior Indian officials -foreign secretary S Jaishankar and national security adviser Ajit Doval -met key cabinet principals, including secretary of state Rex Tillerson, defence secretary James Mattis, and homeland security secretary John Kelly, but not the likes of Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon, who are formally Trump's advisers, but also his troubleshooters. The second travel ban whose restrictions included immigration from six Muslim majority states has been stopped by a federal court.
Information for this article was contributed by Jonathan Lemire, Lolita C. Baldor, Vivian Salama and Catherine Lucey of The Associated Press.