The Enigma In The White House

Jared Kushner used to be one real estate heir among many in New York City. But his father-in-law Donald Trump’s unlikely ascent to the White House has thrown Kushner, 36, into the center of world events. He’s serving as a senior adviser in the new administration, and seems to have an endless number of portfolios, from government innovation to criminal justice reform to the Middle East.

Kushner’s newfound prominence has not been without troubles. He and his wife, Ivanka Trump, have faced persistent allegations about their foreign business ties and potential conflicts of interest. Reporters have dug into his company’s aggressive tactics against low-income renters. He remains caught in the Russia inquiry, with reports surfacing in June that he met with a Kremlin-affiliated attorney who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. Now it has been revealed that Kushner has used his private email accounts for his official business, an indiscretion for which he and the Trump campaign wanted to indict Clinton.

And Kushner hasn’t even been popular in the president’s own camp. The far-right press has attacked him, with outlets like Breitbart claiming he leads a “globalist” faction within the White House.

It’s a dramatic change for the real estate scion, who grew up in a New Jersey Modern Orthodox family. Going to Harvard and then into his father’s business, he was once relegated to the narrow, privileged world of New York commerce. He’s now facing greater challenges than ever: His father-in-law even expects him to make peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Love or hate him, Jared Kushner might be America’s most important Jew in 2017.

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