A compromised individual who is a huge potential blackmail target

Jennifer Rubin says Kushner should be anxious at the fact that Trump isn’t shielding him.

It was never clear why Kushner reportedly requested more access to intelligence materials than any other White House official outside the National Security Council, but whatever the reason, the power that comes with access to information has now been sharply curtailed. (“Friday’s downgrade represents a significant loss of access for Kushner, who routinely attended classified briefings, received access to the President’s Daily Brief intelligence report and issue[d] requests for information to the intelligence community.”) The move also raises questions as to why Kushner wasn’t granted a permanent clearance (Was it Russia? His ongoing financial woes? Omissions on his request for a top-secret clearance?).

The fact that he provided multiple opportunities for blackmail?

“The fact that a compromised individual who is a huge potential blackmail target had consistent access to our nation’s most closely held secrets for more than a year is just unconscionable,” Max Bergmann, a former State Department official now at the Center for American Progress, tells me. “If this was any other administration, Kushner would have been out long ago. Anyone else would not be allowed back in the White House.”

If it were any other administration he would never have been in in the first place. Seriously; he wouldn’t. Bill Clinton shouldn’t have given an important policy job to his wife, because nepotism, but she did at least have relevant credentials and education, and she did not have massive debts and complicated financial dealings in multiple foreign countries. Kushner is both unqualified and dirty.

Finally, once more we see the downside of Trump’s failure to abide by norms that have guided presidents of both parties (e.g., don’t hire unqualified* relatives for top posts). We also see the consequences of Republicans’ refusal to take their oversight responsibilities seriously with regard to massive conflicts of interest for the entire Trump clan. In the end, Republicans’ indulgence of Trump and his family may prove to be the president’s undoing. Had Trump at the outset been forced to separate himself from his financial holdings and require Kushner to do the same, Trump might have avoided what we now have — the appearance of a corrupt family more akin to a Third World autocracy than a democratic government.

*or qualified

Trump should have been told not to hire any relatives from the outset. That’s all the more true because they’re so corrupt plus unqualified, but it would be true anyway. Also what we have is not the appearance of a corrupt family but rather the reality.

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