Imagine if this sort of thing had happened under George W. Bush, Barack Obama—or any other American president of either party. But now it has. To a remarkable degree, Jared Kushner encapsulates the myriad malignancies of the Trump administration in a single human being.
He has no experience, or knowledge, or skills relevant to his position in government. He displays no awareness whatsoever of ethical or moral boundaries. He floats on a cloud of grandiosity unrelated to the complexities of governance or diplomacy. He is despised not only by the left, but by the president’s own base. He would never have achieved this dangerous accretion of power had he not married Donald Trump’s daughter.
Trump’s White House is a family business run amok. The normal rules of competence, probity, and performance don’t apply to Jared or Ivanka. Any president save Trump would feel compelled to fire an official as conflicted and compromised as Kushner. Instead, Kushner drives away any official who displays a modicum of independence, or who seeks to constrain his influence.
And so, the most potentially toxic result of Kushner’s unconstrained freelancing—his empowerment of the mercurial and unstable MBS.