Kelly, Kushner tension simmers amid West Wing uncertainty

The existing battle-lines between Jared Kushner and chief of staff John Kelly are further entrenched and new diplomatic challenges have arisen after the decision to downgrade Kushner’s security clearance, people familiar with the matter say.

For Kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald Trump, news of his diminished clearance came moments before a potentially more damaging headline: that officials from four countries had discussed ways to manipulate him during their dealings on foreign policy.

The series of events led to uncertainty in the West Wing and an impression among officials that Kushner is again on the ropes. Kelly, who mandated the clearance downgrades, has been regarded as his chief antagonist.

The reality, according to several administration officials, is more complicated.