White House senior adviser Jared Kushner may not be on his way out just yet, but appears to be losing clout with his father-in-law, President Trump.
Kushner, a real estate tycoon whose policy focus in the West Wing has been on technology and peace in the Middle East, is increasingly being viewed as a possible liability to the administration, already embattled in countless other public relations crises.
Kushner tried to create a secret, secure channel of communication between Trump and Moscow last December, according to a report published Friday.
That allegation may be one of the last straws for Trump and Kushner. The president has tried to distance himself from negative reports by pulling away from Kushner in private, but remaining warm in public, according to a new report in the New York Times. Trump even praised Kushner in a statement released Sunday night, just two days after the latest finding dropped.
"Jared is doing a great job for the country," Trump said in a statement to the paper. "I have total confidence in him. He is respected by virtually everyone and is working on programs that will save our country billions of dollars. In addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he is a very good person."
But Kushner's judgment in recent weeks has reportedly led his boss down a road of ridicule and tribulation. Kushner advocated for the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, telling Trump it would be a political "win" because Democrats had called for his departure. The termination ended up backfiring and was the beginning of a week the White House spent plagued in allegations over various incidents, including Trump's firing Comey to end the federal investigation over Russia's interference in the November election.
Kushner has also not-so-discreetly lobbied his father-in-law to get rid of chief strategist Steve Bannon. While Trump was said to have reconciled differences between the two last month, Kushner, a centrist, has continued to work Trump to move on Bannon, as well as press secretary Sean Spicer, both staunch conservatives who represent Trump's voting bloc.
To top off the complications, Kushner's sister, Nicole Meyer, recently told investors in Beijing that she could attain EB-5 visas to the U.S. if the financiers of a Kushner Companies condominium project spent more than $500,000.
Trump, the report said, was irate, breaking a tradition of keeping his family on a pedestal and instead used White House meetings over the following days to take jabs at Kushner and his family, a road not usually taken by a man who sees family loyalty as a top priority.
Kushner is increasingly bearing the blunt of Trump's harsh words, unlike at the beginning of his White House stint.
Kushner and wife, Ivanka Trump, are regularly evaluating their work in D.C. and whether it's time to move back to Manhattan.