Kelly: I never thought about getting rid of Jared, Ivanka
White House chief of staff John Kelly is pushing back on the notion that he has discussed the possibility of President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner leaving the White House by the end of the year.
The New York Times reported Saturday that Kelly had floated the possibility of ousting Ivanka Trump and Kushner, both of whom serve as senior advisers to the president and play prominent roles in his administration.
“There was honestly never a time when I contemplated getting rid of Jared and Ivanka,” Kelly told the Times.
Kushner, a 36-year-old real estate heir, spent most of his first year in the White House under the spotlight. He was frequently seen with the president during meetings and at public appearances, and has had a vast portfolio of responsibilities.
But unlike his predecessor Reince Priebus, Kelly has sought to curb the free rein Kushner once enjoyed in the West Wing. According to the Times, the retired four-star general has asserted his authority over the president’s son-in-law, who has more recently taken on a more behind-the-scenes role.
Kushner’s allies say that his increasingly low-key role is a reflection of his success in helping to stabilize a White House once consumed by infighting and chaos. Without Priebus and former chief strategist Stephen Bannon in the picture, they say Kushner can focus more on his own projects and initiatives, according to the Times.
Kushner is still working on an effort to broker a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, and is focusing attention on the need to modernize the government’s aging technology.
But his portfolio has been limited, the Times reported, and he is no longer seen as the unchecked right-hand man to the president that he once was.
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