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Jared Kushner: The White House’s results-driven tactician

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The most under-appreciated asset in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner.

You wouldn’t know that from the criticism of him for political inexperience and his close relationship with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. House Democrats have even said when they take control in January, they may review U.S. policy toward the kingdom, including Kushner’s ties to the crown prince known as MbS.

{mosads}But I can attest from experience that Kushner is a true asset, having worked firsthand with him and his team on dozens of small and large projects this past year, including the Young Black Leadership Summit held at the White House in October. Together, we have lobbied lawmakers to support prison reform, something both Kushner and I are deeply passionate about. The late hours his team puts in, the rapid response with which they get back to me with ideas and solutions, make me feel like I am dealing with people from the private sector, not government employees. This is a rarity; many other government staff members with whom I communicate are not mission- or results-driven.

There are other reasons I admire the approach that Kushner brings to politics. He is a smooth tactician, playing chess while his adversaries play checkers. He can carefully navigate complex policy objectives and goals, while not accepting the status quo.

One of my favorite moments of working with Kushner in the past year was when he challenged Candace Owens and me when we brought forth the idea of hosting the Young Black Leadership Summit at the White House. We told him we were planning for 200 black students to attend and he cut in: “Why not 400, 500?” We knew he was right; why settle for low expectations? In the end, more than 400 young black leaders attended, thanks to Kushner’s securing the event space and the difficult approvals in a relatively short time.

Kushner’s style is simple: He is there to get things done to benefit the country and the American people. He isn’t there to stack up cable-news hits or gain media coverage. He is not there to host cocktail parties for friends, or show off his access to a president who is his father-in-law. He made the decision to divest holdings in some of his businesses and enter the White House because of his love for country and commitment to service — an admirable move, given today’s hostile media climate.

Kushner and his small team — specifically, Cassidy Dumbauld and Avi Berkowitz — have accomplished impressive achievements in 2018 alone:

  • They led the charge behind the successful bid to secure the FIFA World Cup in 2026 and Summer Olympics in 2028. This was stunningly underreported when it happened; yet, it wasn’t long ago that President Obama put tremendous political capital behind the Chicago 2016 Olympics bid and failed on the world stage, an embarrassment for our country.
  • The somewhat controversial decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem was designed, led and peacefully coordinated by Kushner. The grandson of Holocaust survivors, he brought the audience to tears when he gave a moving address during the unveiling of the embassy in May.
  • The new trade deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada, which even got a positive mention in a speech by Canada’s former prime minister, was designed and negotiated by Kushner and his team. This deal has been praised by experts across the political spectrum for vastly improving the disastrous NAFTA deal crafted by President Bill Clinton. Working closely with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Kushner and his team delivered a pro-worker, pro-American deal that addresses many of NAFTA’s systemic failures.

More recently, Kushner has been the driving force behind getting the FIRST STEP Act through the House and onto the one-yard line in the Senate. The bill is designed to address our broken prison system and to reduce recidivism, using successful states such as Texas as models. Kushner and his team were among the architects of this bill and have rallied remarkable public support to get it close to passage. In May, Kushner brought on Brooke Rollins, the nation’s premier expert on conservative-minded criminal justice reform, to spearhead the effort.

Finally, Kushner and his team have been trying to bring about the impossible: peace in the Middle East. President Trump has described this in jest as the “impossible deal,” but Kushner has taken it on enthusiastically.

President Trump’s supporters can rest assured there is a strategic, loyal, committed and effective cadre of patriots in the White House. The president’s detractors should be thrilled that someone as capable and open-minded as Kushner is working on behalf of our country — someone who truly loves this country and wants to make it better for all citizens, not just the wealthy or well-connected.

When historians look back on this presidency and analyze President Trump’s accomplishments, they’ll find Jared Kushner right there as the person who quietly delivered results and helped make historic changes to create a better country for future generations.

Charlie Kirk is the founder and president of Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit that aims to educate students on free-market values. You can follow him on Twitter @CharlieKirk11.

Tags Bill Clinton Donald Trump Family of Donald Trump Jared Kushner Jared Kushner Mohammed bin Salman Robert Lighthizer

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