Trump Son-In-Law Kushner To Testify On Russia Ties

President Trump is reportedly creating a new position for his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

The newly formed White House Office of American Innovation will leverage business ideas and potentially privatize some government functions, according to Reuters, as Kushner says:

"The government should be run like a great American company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens,"

In a statement to the Post, Trump said:

"I promised the American people I would produce results, and apply my ‘ahead of schedule, under budget’ mentality to the government."

Some of the areas he will focus on are veterans' care, opioid addiction, technology and data infrastructure, workforce training and infrastructure, according to the report.

Kushner has been a regular presence at his father-in-law's side and was earlier cleared by the Justice Department to serve as a White House senior adviser even as Democrats raised concerns about his potential conflicts of interest.

Kushner's move comes one week after Ivanka Trump received her own office in the White House along with access to classified information and a government-issued phone after aides earlier said she would not take on a role in her father's White House.

While we are sure Mr Kushner is eminently qualified for this role, we can't help but feel a tinge of 'keep it in the family' angst as nepotism continues to rear its ugly head.

However, what is more fascinating is that this new role was assigned just as Kushner faces questions over his Russian dealings... (as Axios summarizes)

The NYTimes has a story this morning on Jared Kushner being summoned before the Senate Intelligence Committee to answer questions on his meetings with Russian officials and Kremlin-linked businessmen.

Kushner arranged a meeting with Kislyak in early December that was also attended by Trump's short-lived national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who was fired after misrepresenting his contacts with the ambassador.

 

Later that month, the Times reported, Kislyak requested a second meeting, which Kushner asked a deputy to attend. The Russian ambassador asked that Kushner meet with Sergei Gorkov, head of Vnesheconombank, which was also sanctioned by the European Union after Russian interference in Ukraine.

 

The New York Times first reported the committee's request and details of the meetings with the Russians.

As WSJ reports, both the White House and a spokeswoman for Intelligence committee chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, confirmed that Mr. Kushner had agreed to meet with the panel, owing to his role as the primary point of contact during Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign with foreign governments.

Throughout the campaign and transition, Jared Kushner served as the official primary point of contact with foreign governments and officials. Given this role, he has volunteered to speak with Chairman Burr’s Committee,” said a White House official.

Mr. Kushner is the latest in a string of former aides and associates of Mr. Trump whose testimony has been sought in connection with the two congressional investigations being conducted.