Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner has endured significant criticism from the media, Democrats, and from factions of the political Right for his presence in the Trump administration. However, many of the criticisms that Kushner has faced fall apart upon a close examination of facts and reality.
The biggest criticism that Kushner has faced from factions of the political Right during his time in the Trump administration is that he is too liberal. Many of the criticisms that he is too liberal are based off the fact that Kushner tries to work with as many parties as possible when working to solve an issue, as maximum cooperation is the easiest way to achieve success.
Those who claim that Kushner is too liberal often overlook many of the victories that he has secured for Trump which often fall directly in line with causes that conservatives champion. Those victories include:
- Kushner played a decisive role in Trump’s 2016 victory: Trump, who has proven to be much more conservative than beloved former Republican President Ronald Reagan, won in 2016 thanks in large part to Kushner. Forbes reported in 2016 that Kushner’s role in running the Trump campaign’s data operation “eventually tipped the states that swung the election.”
- Kushner is among the biggest pro-Israel advocates in the White House: Any notion that Kushner is liberal is quickly dispelled by the pro-Israel agenda that he has advocated for in the White House. Kushner’s pro-Israel advocacy comes at a time when far-left extremists have normalized anti-Semitism into the Democratic Party. The New York Times reported that Kushner’s advocacy for pro-Israel policy positions stems in part from his family surviving the Holocaust and Nazi persecution. Growing up, Kushner learned about how his family had been persecuted by Nazis and thus learned that protecting Israel was essential to the survival of the Jewish people. The Times notes that Kusher has played a key role in shaping Trump’s policy agenda with regard to Israel. Kushner also played a key role in Trump’s recent executive order that protects Jewish students from anti-Semitism.
- Kushner has been tasked with securing Trump’s biggest campaign promise: The construction of the border wall: Securing the Southern border and building a border wall to stop the massive flow of illegal aliens into the United States was Trump’s biggest promise during 2016. However, Trump’s promise has been stalled due to large partisan opposition and Democrat-appointed far-left activist judges who have issued numerous injunctions and rulings in effort to stop the administration. Trump has since turned to Kushner and instructed his son-in-law to make sure that it gets done.
Another criticism that Kushner has faced is that he does not possess enough relevant work experience to hold the position that he currently holds in the White House. However, Kushner’s business experience in real estate has helped him to secure trade deals that were central to the Trump administration, including:
- Kushner was a key player in securing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA): U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters in October 2018: “I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, this agreement would not have happened if it wasn’t for Jared.”
- Kushner is a key player in securing new trade deals with China: After seeing how Kushner was successful in securing USMCA, Trump instructed him to work on getting a new trade deal secured with China, which Kushner was successful in achieving.
A third criticism that Kushner has faced is kind of combination of the first two criticisms. Kushner has had to deal with critics who have claimed that he does not have the political experience necessary to navigate the partisan nature of Washington, D.C., and does not understand what the Republican Party needs because he was supposedly too liberal. Again, Kushner’s track record silences his critics:
- Kushner was a key player in securing Trump’s victory in 2016: As previously mentioned in this report, Kushner played a key role in Trump winning in 2016. Forbes reported in 2016: “A year ago he had zero experience in politics and about as much interest in it. Suddenly he sits at its global center. … No resources at the beginning, perhaps. Underfunded throughout, for sure. But by running the Trump campaign–notably, its secret data operation–like a Silicon Valley startup, Kushner eventually tipped the states that swung the election. And he did so in manner that will change the way future elections will be won and lost.”
- Kushner worked with Democrats and Republicans to secure criminal justice reform, which expanded the tent of the Republican Party: The New York Times reported that Kushner was the “administration’s driving force behind the bill.” The bill’s passage has increased Trump’s approval rating among the black community, which is a key demographic for the Democrat Party. Recent polling from Emerson and Rasmussen Reports shows that Trump’s approval rating sits at 34%, which is up significantly from the 8% of black voters who voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
- Kusher was deemed as such an asset to the Trump campaign in 2016 that he was asked to help Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020: The Washington Post reported last year that Kushner was Trump’s “hidden campaign hand” and that when campaign manager Brad Parscale wanted to talk fundraising strategy for the campaign that the first person he went to was Kushner. In his unofficial advisory role to the campaign, Kushner has instructed senior political advisers to the campaign to provide to him a 10-year plan for how Republicans can win over inner city voters, which demonstrates his keen political foresight in understanding where the GOP needs focus its energy to dominate the political landscape for future generations.
The other area that Kushner has dealt with criticism is in negative press over things he advised Trump on, which he was criticized over at the time but later turned out to be right on the issue.
By far the biggest criticism that Kushner has had to deal with was his support of Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, which eventually led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
While the decision was controversial at the time, in hindsight it was the correct move as Comey has since been found to have been an utter disgrace to the FBI with his leadership and for allowing his agency to engage in criminal conduct against Trump through its doctoring of evidence in the FISA process.
Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel summarized Comey’s time at the FBI by highlighting just a few of the damaging things that had been revealed about him, including the fact that he was “fired for cause; found guilty of ‘insubordinate’ acts (IG on Clinton case); found guilty of ‘dangerous’ behavior (IG on memo leak); in charge of an FBI that deceived the FISA court.”
Let's hope upcoming #FoxNews interview w/ @comey proceeds from reality that he was: fired for cause; found guilty of "insubordinate" acts (IG on Clinton case); found guilty of "dangerous" behavior (IG on memo leak); in charge of an FBI that deceived the FISA court.
— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) December 12, 2019
Strassel’s tweet preempted Comey’s recent interview on Fox News where anchor Chris Wallace sliced and diced him on national television.
Kushner’s successes for the administration, while often ignored by the media, have been noticed by all the right people in Trump world.
One of Kushner’s biggest defenders is the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who said, “Jared has defied his critics every step of the way. They attacked him on the campaign, but he never wavered and helped my dad build an innovative campaign operation unlike anything that’d ever existed before—and we won. The attacks have continued in the West Wing but he’s kept delivering for the President’s agenda, and for the American people.”
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) also championed Kushner’s work, saying, “Jared has been a consistent, principled fighter not just for the president’s agenda, but most importantly for America. Intelligent and determined, his presence in the West Wing has been critically important and effective.”
David Friedman, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, also spoke highly of Kushner, saying, “For decades the conventional wisdom was that there were limits on how much the U.S. could support Israel, notwithstanding that Israel was America’s greatest friend and ally in the Middle East. Jared broke that flawed paradigm: we worked together to properly realign and strengthen the U.S. relationship with Israel while Jared simultaneously helped to guide and strengthen our other relationships in the region.”
“Jared disproved the ‘zero sum game’ theory that a stronger relationship with Israel meant a weaker U.S. presence in the Gulf,” Friedman added. “He showed that the U.S. can be stronger on all fronts.”
Cliff Sims, former campaign aide and former Special Assistant to the President, said, “From criminal justice reform to the USMCA to overhauling the VA, when Jared puts his focus and energy into something, his track record shows he gets it done. It’s hard to take his critics seriously when the results so easily prove his effectiveness.”
A source close to former White House strategist Steve Bannon added, “Most of the negative press that Jared got hit with after the election came from Steve Bannon and his allies. We now know that Steve was pushing lies. Steve ended up losing a lot of friends and Jared earned a whole new army of allies. I guess Steve isn’t the brilliant strategist that he fancies himself.”
Another crucial champion is Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, who is close with the Trump administration and focused on making the Republican Party attractive to young voters.
“Jared has been relentless in helping fulfill the president’s agenda,” Kirk said. “He has done more for this country in three short years than the entire entrenched political class has done in the last 40 years.”