March 4, 2018

What does it say about you if in a White House rife with corruption, grift and conflicts of interest, you stand out as someone likely headed to prison?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jared Kushner.

Trump's "wunderkind" senior staffer/son-in-law, who has apparently been tasked with everything from Middle East peace to the criminal justice reform to the heartbreak of adult acne, looks like the next Trumpkin about to make a departure from the White House under a cloud of potential indictments.

So it wasn't a surprise that Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was asked about the latest story of Kushner's interference and end run around Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Qatar, as reported in The Intercept.

The real estate firm tied to the family of presidential son-in-law and top White House adviser Jared Kushner made a direct pitch to Qatar’s minister of finance in April 2017 in an attempt to secure investment in a critically distressed asset in the company’s portfolio, according to two sources. At the previously unreported meeting, Jared Kushner’s father Charles, who runs Kushner Companies, and Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al Emadi discussed financing for the Kushners’ signature 666 Fifth Avenue property in New York City.
The failure to broker the deal would be followed only a month later by a Middle Eastern diplomatic row in which Jared Kushner provided critical support to Qatar’s neighbors. Led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a group of Middle Eastern countries, with Kushner’s backing, led a diplomatic assault that culminated in a blockade of Qatar. Kushner, according to reports at the time, subsequently undermined efforts by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to bring an end to the standoff.

On Friday afternoon, NBC News reported that in late January and early February, Qatari government officials visiting the U.S. “considered turning over to Mueller what they believe is evidence of efforts by their country’s Persian Gulf neighbors in coordination with Kushner to hurt their country.”

Murphy came out with the strongest words as yet by a senator, saying that Kushner's actions, if accurately reported, means he just has to go.

"Well, if it's true, it's damning. If it's true, Jared Kushner has to go. For many of us that follow the Middle East closely, we could not understand why the Trump administration was so firmly taking the Saudis side in this dispute between the Saudis, the Emiratis and the Qataris, because the United States has very important interests in Qatar. At the top of the list are thousands of U.S. troops that are stationed in a base there. And so to so firmly take the side of the Saudis against the Qataris, potentially resulting in the downward spiral of the Qatari economy, put thousands of Americans at risk."

He continued, "If the reason for this -- if the reason that this administration put U.S. troops at risk in Qatar was to protect the Kushner’s financial interests, then that’s all the evidence you need to make some big changes in the White House."

It also can shift the balances in the very tenuous situation in the Middle East between the Arab nations and Iran, and we've seen already over and over how well it's worked out for us to meddle there.

But hey, we can't expect the guy in charge of Middle East peace to think of that, can we?

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