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Some of Trump’s lawyers wanted Jared Kushner out

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Jared Kushner

One of President Trump’s top advisers, son-in-law Jared Kushner, was apparently being pushed out of the White House by members of the president’s legal team, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal (paywall).

The left-leaning business tycoon has been arguably the most consistently influential man in President Trump’s ear. Along with his wife, Ivanka Trump, Kushner has been tagged as having a hand in many of the president’s biggest decisions, including firing FBI Director James Comey. Their influence has been challenged in recent weeks. From ally Anthony Scaramucci’s abrupt release to the change of heart the president had with transgenders in the military, what Kushner says isn’t always what goes.

The latest report shows that the president had Kushner’s back in a big way in June when some of his lawyers felt Kushner needed to go. Obviously, President Trump hasn’t heeded their advice. Yet.

Perspectives

Washington Examiner, Diana Stancy Correll:

The lawyers voiced concern that Kushner was the adviser closest to Trump and interacted four times, more than any other adviser, with Russian officials throughout the campaign and during the administration transition. Some of these officials are currently being investigated by the federal government and congressional oversight panels.

The Week, Catherine Garcia:

It’s unclear which attorneys made the recommendation that Kushner resign, but former lead attorney Marc Kasowitz told the Journal he never discussed this and was not aware of any other attorney thinking this way.

Axios, Dave Lawler:

The composition of the legal team has changed over the intervening months. John Dowd, who now leads the team, confirmed some lawyers wanted Kushner out but told the Journal he was always opposed to the idea.

Zero Hedge, Tyler Durden:

The problems involving Kushner are largely familiar: he was the adviser closest to the president who had the most dealings with Russian officials and businesspeople during the campaign and transition, many of which are currently the object of Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe – Kushner said he had four such meetings or interactions. Additionally Kushner initially omitted to disclose any contacts with foreign officials as required on a security clearance form. He only updated the form later on several occasions to include what he has said were more than 100 contacts with foreign officials.

The Hill, Brandon Carter:

Press aides to Trump’s legal team allegedly even went so far as to draft a statement explaining why Kushner was leaving the White House.

The statement, meant to be issued by Kushner, blamed a toxic political environment for turning Kushner’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign into an attack on Trump.

Reactions

Final Word

It’s easy to point fingers and say that Kushner should be removed from whatever role (Senior Adviser?) he holds in the White House, but it shouldn’t be simply to distance the president from scandal. If Kushner did wrong, Trump is right to keep him on to face the consequences. If he didn’t do anything wrong, Trump is right to keep him on for vindication.

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Foreign Affairs

Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

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Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

Two Russian jets carrying troops and equipment landed in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of a mission to “fullfil technical military contracts,” according to Russian media. But it’s almost certain this is part of Russia’s play on Venezuela to prop up socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro just as they did with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, most Americans who follow the news cycle were bombarded with perspectives on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Robert Mueller investigation report. In it, President Trump and his 2016 campaign were found to not have colluded with the Russians in their election hacking endeavors.

My Take

While most were focused on fake Russian collusion, the real thing was happening in one of the world’s hottest spots, Venezuela.

Russia’s play here is simple: keep Maduro in power at all costs. They got the drop on any actions the United States may have been planning, though it’s unlikely those plans included military intervention. Still, Russia isn’t taking any chances. By getting troops and equipment on the ground, they’ll be able help Maduro by offering cover from outside actions while bolstering his support internally.

Any defections or coup attempts will be much less likely with Russia directly involved.

The opposition leader who America and over 50 other nations consider to be the rightful interim president, Juan Guaido, has been trying to get international support while maintaining domestic support, but Maduro’s move may have prevented that from happening.

In essence, the battle over Venezuela is now over. It’s unfathomable to conceive of action by the United States or any other’s who support Guaido other than diplomatic efforts that will accomplish nothing. Venezuela is doomed to retain their socialist dictator now.

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Foreign Affairs

Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

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Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

A confirmed rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Israeli homes near the border in the Kfar Saba area outside Tel Aviv. Sirens were heard prior to the rocket explosion and posted by the IDF Twitter account.

Six people were injured in the attack.

My Take

The conflict between Hamas and Israel has been getting old for years, but now is not the time to blow off the news. Hamas is having internal strife as its citizens protest living and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip. To garner international support and save face for failing to help their own people, Hamas is trying to start another war.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is caught between a contentious election at home and the need to get his own international support, particularly from the United States. He’s in Washington DC now to meet with President Trump, who has offered his support and endorsement for the long-time Prime Minister.

Hamas would love nothing more than for Netanyahu to be gone, replaced by a leftist who will wheel and deal for “peace” with the Palestinians regardless of the cost. If that happens, the toll will be great on Israel and the world.

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Foreign Affairs

Here’s hoping there’s a plan we don’t know about with North Korea

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Heres hoping theres a plan we dont know about with North Korea

In a move that many, including supporters on the right, are calling a move of weakness, the President reversed the Treasury Department’s additional sanctions on North Korea.

My Take

I’m just not sure what to make of this. I understand many have been concerned about how nicely the President has treated Kim Jong un, but I’ve always felt there was some sort of plan happening behind the scenes that would justify it. Now, I’m not so sure.

This move emboldens Kim to continue avoiding any compromise on his nuclear weapons program. It tells him and the rest of the world President Trump isn’t going to be playing hardball and intends to coax the North Korean dictator into signing some sort of agreement before the 2020 elections.

Dare I say, this seems very Obamaesque? Where’s the hardball? Where’s the threats against Rocketman? If there’s some sort of 4D chess being played in the background, I seriously hope we see it in play soon. This is a strange move.

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