With limited political experience and some family baggage, Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has ramped up into an active role into the New York real estate magnate’s presidential bid. Empowered through his marriage to Trump’s trusted and successful daughter Ivanka Trump, the 35-year-old Kushner operates with an extraordinary level of autonomy within an organization as it shifts focus toward the general election.
Kushner’s growing influence in recent weeks has included the selection and vetting of potential running mates, planning for his father-in-law’s transition to the White House, fundraising strategies, and the development of major policies. Most recently, Kushner helped Trump scribe the presidential speech given on Super Tuesday.
Sources describe Kushner’s role in the campaign, despite his inexperience in politics and public policy, as a mild-mannered and valuable presence with helpful connections in the media world and across the Jewish community. Kushner is also an incredibly private figure. He rarely speaks to journalists despite being a newspaper publisher, and has declined interview requests through representatives multiple times.
The level of Kushner’s unprecedented access to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has surprised campaign officials multiple times. One aide recalled having a “thought to be” private phone conversation with Trump ,when he unexpectedly heard Kushner’s voice. Trump was talking on speaker phone, the aide realized, while Kushner was present in the room.
Trump frequently singles out Kushner for praise, at times even summoning him to center stage during a rally, despite Kushner’s blushing embarrassment. “Honestly, Jared is a very successful real estate person, but I actually think he likes politics more than he likes real estate,” Trump said at a victory rally last month. “But he’s very good at politics.”