Earlier this evening, a pair of suspiciously similar stories simultaneously appeared in the New York Times and Washington Post for no good reason. Both stories sought to emphasize that Jared Kushner’s role in the White House is “shrinking” – to the point that they both used a variation of that word in their respective titles. Simply put, this kind of thing doesn’t happen. Moreover, both stories appear to have come from Kushner’s own camp. Throw in a third data point, and we may be looking at the groundwork for Kushner’s imminent resignation. Bear with me here.
There’s no way the Times and the Post would both have run this non-event story fed to them by Kushner’s camp, unless they were each under the impression that they were getting it exclusively. As it stands, both newspapers have been left looking foolish. In other words, Kushner burned his trusted political contacts at both news outlets. He used to run his own newspaper. He knows how this works. He must have been so desperate to get this message out right now that he didn’t care what contacts he burned – and it suggests that he no longer thinks he’ll need those media contacts going forward anyway.
I’ve run this past some others in the media tonight, and they’ve confirmed that they’ve never seen the New York Times (article) and Washington Post (article) simultaneously run nearly identical non-event stories like this. Still, I was left to wonder if I was reading too much into it. Then I recalled that earlier this week, Vanity Fair ran a story which claims that Donald Trump keeps telling Jared and Ivanka to quit and move back to New York, and acknowledges that Kushner’s camp is the source (link). So now we have three instances of Kushner trying to lay the groundwork for his resignation in the past four days.
Jared Kushner appears to really, really want you to know that his White House role has been marginalized and that there’s no reason for him to stick around. He also wants you to know that Donald Trump has told him to resign from the White House and leave town. This thoroughly feels like Kushner is about to resign – and he wants to make sure the public believes that he’s only leaving because he was nudged out, not because he’s running from the Trump-Russia scandal. Stay tuned. This is just the beginning of this storyline.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report