Jared Kushner, President Trump’s senior adviser, and daughter Ivanka Trump are reportedly shrinking their West Wing roles as the pair comes under increasing pressure and annoys top officials with their presence and terrible advice to the president.
According to Axios, the couple is making more of an effort to “stay in their lane” due to their creating “periodic confusion and resentment” by their presence. White House counsel Don McGahn has reportedly complained about the couple’s presence, while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is rumored to have nicknamed them “the royal family,” according to the outlet.
The decision comes after Trump’s decision to back Sen. Luther Strange in the Alabama Senate primary backfired spectacularly and Strange was crushed by conservative challenger Judge Roy Moore. Kushner is widely believed to have been a key voice in urging Trump to get involved in the race and back Strange — a decision Trump himself admitted may have been a “mistake.”
It is not the first piece of bad advice Kushner has given. He was also reportedly central in advising Trump to fire FBI Director James Comey — a move that led to the appointment of FBI special counsel Robert Mueller to probe alleged Russian interference in the election.
Kushner is now under the spotlight in that investigation, too, in part due to his attendance at a Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Kremlin-linked lawyer last year.
Federal investigators reportedly subpoenaed his family firm, Kushner Companies, this summer for its use of an investment-for-visas program — a program it hawked to Chinese investors and later apologized for its naming of President Trump in its pitches.
Just last week, Kushner was revealed to have been one of six current and former Trump White House officials to have occasionally used private email for White House business — triggering interest from congressional lawmakers.
Axios cites “the couple’s friends,” who say that the pair sees themselves as under constant attack and that they have never planned to stay four years in the administration, possibly a hint that a departure from the Manhattanite couple may come sooner rather than later.
Until then, under the tighter discipline imposed by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, the pair is expected to stick to their respective portfolios.
“Now there are proper channels, and they’re just doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” a colleague told Axios.