Trump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report
President Trump has put his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in charge of overseeing the construction of the border wall, The Washington Post reported Monday.
Current and former administration officials told the Post that Kushner has taken the lead on the wall construction project, holding biweekly meetings covering the progress of the wall, contractor data, the location of the wall and how funding is being used.
Kushner is reportedly pressuring U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to speed up the process of obtaining private land along the U.S.-Mexico border to build the wall.
The president’s son-in-law is reportedly pushing to get 450 miles of barriers along the border finished before the 2020 election. Officials told the Post that more than 800 filings to seize private property need to be made to make that happen.
Kushner has frustrated officials with his lack of knowledge about government and his high expectations for the timeline, some told the Post.
“So he took a much more hands-on role in figuring out, mile by mile, how to get more wall up,” a person involved with the construction told the Post. “It didn’t help put wall up faster and cheaper. His interventions actually just created more inefficiency in the process.”
Senior administration officials told the Post that Kushner has attributed the delay in the wall construction to former chief of staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
White House declined to comment to the Post, and The Hill reached out for comment.
Trump ran on a campaign promise to build a border wall and have Mexico pay for it, but the country denied those terms. The president has since struggled to obtain adequate funding for the wall from Congress.
The Trump administration has constructed about 83 miles of the wall so far, with nearly all of it classified as “replacement wall.” To finish by the election, construction would need to move four times faster, according to the Post.