Published: Sun, April 09, 2017
Culture | By Kelly Harrison

Kushner and Bannon attempt to smooth things over

Jared Kushner, the White House's key diplomat and business innovator, did not disclose dozens of encounters with foreign leaders when he applied for top-secret security clearance, The New York Times reported on Thursday. The diminishing status also can't feel good for Bannon, who at one point was supposedly masterminding every single move the White House was making and now can't even get a seat at the big boy table for a missile launch.

While he's aligned with other White House aides, including Trump's senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, Bannon has been criticized for the troubled roll-out of the president's executive order on immigration and the failed attempt in March to pass health care legislation. The White House again has claimed there's nothing to see here, denying the office ever existed.

The Daily Beast reported that Bannon has vented to White House colleagues about Kushner, calling him a "globalist" and "cuck" - favorite slurs used by the far right.

A top aide to Trump said he's contemplating major changes, but that the situation is very fluid and the timing uncertain: "Things are happening, but it's very unclear the president's willing to pull that trigger."...

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In recent weeks, as Mr. Bannon has felt increasingly frustrated, Mr. Priebus has several times bolstered the chief strategist in discussions with the president, according to people with direct knowledge of the talks.

Bannon was removed from his post on the National Security Council on Wednesday, two days after Kushner, a former real estate developer, was dispatched to Iraq to meet with top USA military commanders and Iraqi officials to get a first-hand assessment of the battle against the Islamic State.

Donald Trump's 36-year-old son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has a policy portfolio that's so expansive, he's quickly become one of the most powerful figures in the White House, despite having no meaningful experience in government or public affairs. Administration officials said this was done at the urging of national security adviser H.R. McMaster, with whom Bannon had clashed. One is family, the other isn't, and Kushner has nearly certainly invested more of his "brand" in Trump than Bannon has.

But after his removal from the National Security Council, Bannon said his job was done and offered a different explanation for his role. Increasingly, that means reveling in secondhand reports about the utter disarray of his administration, whether it's the news that his wife might hate him or the utter ineptitude of his cronies like Sean Spicer.

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