The Wall Street Editorial Board has called on Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, President Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, to leave the White House, in an op-ed published this week. “Mr. Kushner and Ivanka have to decide if they’d serve themselves and the President better by walking away from their formal White House roles,” they wrote.
The editorial was written in the wake of reports that say the President is vacillating between feelings of happiness at being surrounded by close family members whom he trusts and wishing the couple had never taken jobs in Washington, and secretly hoping they would return home to New York.
He has reportedly told the couple they should keep serving in their roles, while privately asking his Chief of Staff John Kelly to help him push them out.
Trump is regretful that the young couple is being treated poorly, as he sees it, by the press and believes they would be better off away from Washington. The President has also grown frustrated with Kushner, who has received negative press in recent weeks over his alleged attempts to leverage his position in the White House to the benefit of his family’s business.
Kushner’s family real estate firm, Kushner Companies is in financial trouble as they struggle to shore up $1.4 billion in debt the company took on to purchase a premier office building in Midtown Manhattan, 666 Fifth Avenue. The debt is due in 2019 and so far, the company has been unable to strike a deal that will keep the building solvent.
Kushner is accused of attempting to secure foreign investments to direct to the struggling enterprise and affecting U.S. foreign policy accordingly. He has become, it’s been learned, a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as the scope of that probe widens.
Kushner has also had his security clearance downgraded recently, as the result of new protocols Kelly has put in place. The downgrade prevents Kushner from viewing top-secret, classified intelligence injecting doubt into whether he can continue doing his job effectively.
Asked whether he would carve out a special exemption for Kushner, President Trump demurred, saying the final decision would be Chief of Staff Kelly’s. “I will let general Kelly make that decision. And he’s going to do what’s right for the country. And I have no doubt he will make the right decision,” the President said.
So far, no exemption has been granted.
The Wall Street Journal editorial intimated that in light of recent developments, Ivanka’s and Jared’s roles have been “diminished,” but that they could still offer help in other ways from outside of the White House.
“Giving up their White House positions would be a bitter remedy,” the editorial board wrote, “but Mr. Kushner and first daughter Ivanka could still offer advice as outsiders.”
They also characterized their departure as being strategic, in light of the high stakes Trump faces at this point his presidency. “Mr. Trump’s second year could determine his presidential fate as Mr. Mueller’s probe rolls on and midterm elections give Democrats a chance to take the House and impeach him,” the board wrote.
“Mr. Trump needs the discipline that Mr. Kelly has imposed…”