But outside of Kushner’s small circle of trust – a group that includes Kushner’s wife Ivanka Trump, and advisers Hope Hicks, Josh Raffel, Dina Powell, Gary Cohn, Chris Liddell and Reed Cordish – many West Wing advisers are simultaneously rattled by the backchannel revelations, and feeling a sense of schadenfreude.
The focus on a family member also brings the Russia-related heat closer to Trump. Kushner has risen so quickly in the White House that his colleagues grumble about “principal confusion” — when a staffer thinks that the reflected spotlight of the boss is actually shining on him. Colleagues have rolled their eyes that Kushner has hired a communications adviser to work on his own portfolio. That aide, Raffel, traveled abroad with him to Riyadh, Jerusalem and Rome.
Kushner, who some say has sealed himself off from the competing White House power centers, may now be in a position of needing allies. And the pool of people in New York City eager to come to his defense has shrunk.
Internally at the White House, according to multiple sources, there is a feeling of resentment among people about Kushner’s special status as a family member, and a feeling that it’s about time for him to have a turn under the gun.