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What Jared’s Been Up To: Serving As A ‘Shadow Secretary Of State’?

Jared Kushner might have a bigger hand in keeping tensions down with America’s southern neighbor than previously anticipated: According to reports, the White House senior adviser along with Mexico’s foreign minister rewrote sections of President Trump’s January speech on constructing a border wall in order to make it more conciliatory.

Trump delivered his January address at the Department of Homeland Security, when he signed the executive order to start building a fence on America’s southern boundary. “We also understand that a strong and healthy economy in Mexico is very good for the United States — very, very good,” he said, in the passage identified as Kushner and Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray’s insert. “I truly believe we can enhance the relation between our two nations to a degree not seen before, certainly in a very, very long time.”

“Everyone is trying to get to know Jared Kushner,” an unnamed diplomat told The Washington Post, citing the presidential son-in-law’s new role as a kind of “shadow secretary of state.”

But there are definite limits to Kushner’s power. His efforts to broker a post-inauguration meeting between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto came to naught after the two got into a war of words over who would pay for a border wall. And the new president has proved to be unpredictable, frustrating his handlers with his caprices.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter, @DanielJSolomon

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