It looks as though it has finally dawned on President Trump that releasing a bunch of felons so the Koch brothers and Jared Kushner’s criminal pals like Sholom Rubashkin could get more cheap labor might not have been the greatest idea.
When President Donald Trump huddled with campaign aides in the late spring to discuss his bid for reelection, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told his father-in-law he should highlight last year’s historic passage of the First Step Act — a sweeping criminal justice reform bill that eluded previous administrations and has earned celebrity support.
Kushner reiterated the positive selling points of that bill during the Oval Office meeting as Trump campaign officials and White House aides ticked through the president’s achievements, wondering which would resonate most with his adoring base. But Trump wasn’t interested and told Kushner he didn’t think his core voters would care much about a bipartisan deal for which he’s since accused Democrats of trying to steal credit.
“It was clear he thinks it’s a total dud,” said a person familiar with the meeting. “He made it abundantly clear he doesn’t think it’s worth talking about.”
Kushner, whose own father spent more than a year in federal prison, worked closely with Democratic and Republican senators to get the criminal justice reform bill over the finish line last year — often telling his tough-on-crime boss it was worth expending political capital to seize a rare opportunity to overcome the deeply partisan divide on Capitol Hill and solidify his image as a pragmatic deal-maker.
As Chris Christie has suggested, Charles Kushner deserved every bit of his sentence (and more).
“It’s one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I prosecuted…and I was the U.S. attorney in New Jersey.”@ChrisChristie talks about prosecuting Charles Kushner for tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and witness tampering. #FiringLineShowPBS pic.twitter.com/rBNn0j0bCY
— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) January 29, 2019
But now, Trump “is telling people he’s mad” at how criminal justice reform has panned out, according to a person close to the president. “He’s really mad that he did it. He’s saying that he’s furious at Jared because Jared is telling him he’s going to get all these votes of all these felons.”
What freakin poll is Jared looking at?
Kushner: “One statistic that I found very pleasing is that in Florida they passed a law where former felons can now vote, we’ve had more ex-felons register as Republicans than Democrats.” pic.twitter.com/aEk3RwbKVn
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) April 2, 2019
Indeed, for months, the president has glossed over his son-in-law’s signature legislative achievement at his campaign rallies. If he brings up criminal justice reform, it’s almost always to mock his predecessors for their inability to get it done. Otherwise, as he did at his three most recent campaign events, he skips it entirely, indulging in long-winded rants about unresolved issues like trade and immigration instead of plugging one of the few bipartisan triumphs of his administration.
The subject’s notable absence from Trump’s 2020 stump speech offers a raw look at the president’s political instincts, which strongly veer toward partisan fights and away from the soaring appeals to national unity of past White House incumbents. And it lacks appeal to his base of rural and older white voters, who often respond better to hard-line rhetoric on the topic of law and order.
[…] During the Oval Office meeting this spring, Trump complained that Democratic co-sponsors of the First Step Act skipped the bill signing at the White House last December (Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island was the only Democrat to attend) and have refused to give him credit for passing prison reform when his immediate predecessor couldn’t, according to two people with knowledge of the meeting. He’s said as much publicly in recent days, tweeting earlier this month: “I got it done with a group of Senators & others who would never have gone for it. Obama couldn’t come close.”
All that translates to is, “I succeeded in pushing through a Democrat agenda where Obama failed.”
A Trump administration official provided Tucker Carlson with the following data on what crimes were committed by the felons who have been released so far under the First Step Act:
-239 Sex Offenses
-59 Homicide Aggravated Assault pic.twitter.com/nBFPo2gQCs
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) July 23, 2019
The tweet came after NBC’s Lester Holt omitted any mention of Trump’s role in advancing criminal justice reform during a televised town hall on the network. The president felt the televised special was disingenuous and thought singer John Legend, who participated in it, “paraded himself out like he was the great savior of criminal justice reform,” according to a senior administration official.
Trump has also complained privately about Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who worked with Kushner to pass criminal justice reform in the House, but has been critical of the president ever since. Jeffries, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, called Trump “the grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in January.
“He’s been telling Jared, ‘I got nothing from that,’” a person close to the White House said of criminal justice reform, adding that the president feels duped by claims that his popularity has grown and that he is frustrated with Kushner’s attempts to “jawbone” the issue into every speech he delivers.
“Jared has got all these stats like ‘every rapist in Florida is now going to vote Republican,’” quipped the person close to Trump.
“Trump doesn’t believe it and he’s mad Jared sold him this thing,” the same person said. (The First Step Act gives only certain nonviolent offenders a chance to shorten their sentences, and excludes sex offenders from early release.)
The way Trump got played by Jared Kushner (or more likely, his blackmailing criminal father who appears to be guiding Jared’s every move from the shadows) is just embarrassing.
Javanka were going to be kept out of the White House due to anti-nepotism laws from 1967 barring the appointment of family members but Obama’s people allegedly thought they could be a “moderating force” and longtime Justice Department attorney Daniel Koffsky found a way around it.
Kushner’s father Charles is also working with two convicted felon fraudsters, Avram Lebor and Richard Goettlich, at the Kushner family’s real estate company.
3. The third felon at the Kushner company, Lebor, served a 7-year sentence after he fraudulently promoted himself as a lender and mortgage broker and collected $9 million in advance fees while promising to obtain $2.5 billion in loans for dozens of projects that were never funded pic.twitter.com/M0JtaoaVaw
— Khanoisseur 🐶🤦🏻♂️🌎 (@Khanoisseur) March 1, 2018
These are the lowlifes who are playing and/or controlling Trump from the shadows.
“There is simply no one more influential in the White House on the president than Jared Kushner,” Chris Christie told NPR. “He’s not the only person who he listens to, but I don’t think anyone has more influence than Jared has.” https://t.co/neJDCNuvMU
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) January 29, 2019
Unlike phantoms of Russian collusion with are still being chased to this very day, Kushner’s shady dealings are never going to be investigated.