06.24.17

Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner embrace more public roles in White House

Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner are embracing more visible roles in the White House policy process, taking high-profile meetings with foreign leaders, prominent lawmakers and top business executives while garnering media attention.

Over the last week, Kushner, who more often is seen at the president's side but not heard, delivered his first public remarks during a summit with technology executives. He then jetted off to the Middle East for attention-getting meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter who often accompanies her father on trips, spent two days on Capitol Hill discussing paid family leave and the child tax credit with Republican lawmakers, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

"Jared and Ivanka are great assets the president has in the White House," Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax Media who is friends with the president, told the Washington Examiner. "I'm glad they are taking more of a public role. They are smart, forward thinking, and both have the president's complete trust."

The more public role for Kushner comes as Democrats target him and his security clearance. Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, wrote a letter to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Wednesday asking why Kushner still has clearance in light of his "failure to disclose at least four conversations and meetings with Russian officials." Kushner's attorney has said his client is cooperating with Congress in its investigation of Russian meddling in the election.

Kushner's comments in front of the cameras during Monday's gathering of technology executives got attention because it was the first time many people in the media had even heard his voice.

"Together we will unleash the creativity of the private sector to provide citizen services in a way that has never happened before," Kushner said. "We will foster a new set of start-ups focused on government technology and be a global leader in the field, making government more transparent and responsive to citizens' needs."

After the tech meetings, Kushner, along with Trump's international negotiations representative Jason Greenblatt, traveled to Israel to work on brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, as the president has tasked him to do.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu greeted Kushner in Israel in front of the cameras. "This is an opportunity to pursue our common goals of security, prosperity and peace," he said. "And Jared, I welcome you here in that spirit. I know of your efforts, the president's efforts, and I look forward to working with you to achieve these common goals."

"The president sends his best regards, and it's an honor to be here with you," Kushner replied.

Later in the day, he met with Abbas in Ramallah. After those meetings, Kushner was back in the East Room of the White House on Thursday morning for a technology week event.

Over the same time period, Ivanka Trump — who was behind the president's inclusion in his budget of a mandatory six weeks of paid leave to families after the birth or adoption of child — spent two days on Capitol Hill meeting with Republican lawmakers.

On Tuesday, she was invited to Capitol Hill by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio's office said they spoke about expanding the child tax credit, eliminating marriage penalties in the tax code and paid family leave. Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer, Montana Sen. Steve Daines, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Arizona Rep. David Schweikert, Arizona Rep. Trent Franks and Texas Rep. Lamar Smith also met with the president's daughter.

Later in the day, he met with Abbas in Ramallah. After those meetings, Kushner was back in the East Room of the White House on Thursday morning for a technology week event.

Over the same time period, Ivanka Trump — who was behind the president's inclusion in his budget of a mandatory six weeks of paid leave to families after the birth or adoption of child — spent two days on Capitol Hill meeting with Republican lawmakers.

On Tuesday, she was invited to Capitol Hill by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio's office said they spoke about expanding the child tax credit, eliminating marriage penalties in the tax code and paid family leave. Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer, Montana Sen. Steve Daines, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Arizona Rep. David Schweikert, Arizona Rep. Trent Franks and Texas Rep. Lamar Smith also met with the president's daughter.


By:  Alex Pappas
Source: Washington Examiner