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Jared Kushner Eyed As Trump’s Chief Of Staff — Others Shun Thankless Post

Jared Kushner is already known as the ultimate Trump whisperer, with an office next to the president and a ring on the finger of the orange haired guy’s favorite daughter.

But now the presidential son-in-law may be close to being named chief of staff, a move that would at once solidify his power in the West Wing and raise screaming new questions about nepotism and other conflicts.

Three sources told the Huffington Post that Kushner met with Trump about the soon-to-be-vacant power broker post on Wednesday.

Trump earlier said he had five candidates on a short list for the once-coveted job. Insiders said far right politico David Bossie and ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich are among the possible choices.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she didn’t know if Kushner was a candidate.

“All of us here would recognize, he will be great in any role that the president chooses to put him in,” she said.

Some insiders insisted Kushner is not interested in the gig because he’s happy with the less-structured role he now plays.

“He’s not currently inclined to pursue it,” a source told Reuters.

The job became a hot potato when Trump ousted John Kelly under the belief that Nick Ayres, chief of staff for Mike Pence, would accept the post. But the GOP insider turned the gig down for family reasons — and other cabinet members quickly signaled they aren’t interested.

Being chief of staff is a draining and thankless task in the best of times. But under Trump, it’s proven to be virtually impossible to keep the president on message or manage his schedule, two key parts of the job.

The ever-deepening legal crisis enveloping Trump would also give pause to almost anyone who does not relish the thought of being dragged into Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian collusion and corruption.

Enter Jared.

The wunderkind is already up to his neck in Mueller probe-related trouble, so he likely wouldn’t worry about more legal jeopardy.

And he somehow has managed to say on his dad-in-law’s good side despite having pushed some of the worst decisions of Trump’s disastrous first two years in office.

Plus he’s married to Ivanka, so he’s family. At the end of the day that probably counts for more than anything else in Trump’s collapsing universe.

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Illinois Threatens To Blackball Airbnb Over Settlement Listings Dispute

The Illinois state body that sets investment policy gave Airbnb 90 days to explain why it will not list properties in West Bank settlements.

At the request of Gov. Bruce Rauner, the outgoing Republican governor, the Illinois Investment Policy Board on Wednesday unanimously voted to notify Airbnb it is in violation of state law that bars state investment in businesses that boycott Israel or Israeli entities in territories Israeli controls.

Airbnb now has 90 days to respond, or it will go on the state’s list of companies the state must not engage in business.Your title here…

It’s not clear what the impact on Airbnb.

Rauner, defeated in a re-election bid last month by venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker, who is Jewish, was in 2015 among the first governors to sign into law a ban on doing business with entities that boycott Israel or its settlements.

Airbnb last month announced its change in policy, noting that it would continue to list thousands of properties inside Israel’s internationally recognized borders.

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Brooklyn Yeshiva Demands Apology From New York Times For ‘Subpar’ Photo

Yeshivah of Flatbush is angry at the New York Times for using its photo to illustrate an article about poor education in Jewish religious schools, The Yeshiva World News reported.

The Times initially used a photo of Yeshiva Darchei Torah, meeting the wrath of its dean Rabbi Yaakov Bender, who penned a letter in YWN condemning the Times.

The newspaper heard him out and replaced the image with one of the Yeshivah of Flatbush. Angry at this turn of events, executive director Rabbi Jeffrey Rothman followed Bender’s lead and wrote a letter expressing outrage.

Contradicting the photo’s caption, which states that “A group of graduates from ultra-orthodox Jewish private schools in New York claim that some yeshivah students are never taught secular lessons, like science or history,” Rothman listed his yeshiva’s credentials. He said it offers 24 Advanced Placement courses, a university-style library and professional labs, among other materials.

“Our students are admitted to top-tier colleges and programs,” he wrote.

He concluded by asking for a retraction: “Our school is requesting of the New York Times to remove the picture of our institution from the web-based article and publish an apology to the Yeshivah of Flatbush.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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Protesters Decry Stephen Miller’s Border Policy By Twerking Outside His Home

A queer dance party raged outside White House senior adviser Stephen Miller’s housing complex Wednesday night.

Activist group WERK for Peace organized a twerk-filled protest outside CityCenterDC for Miller’s work on the Trump administration’s immigration policy, DCist reported. The group launched the #WerkNotWalls campaign to call attention to the grim treatment of migrants and refugees at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Miller is “the architect behind the Muslim Ban and the architect behind the response to the migrant and refugee caravan that is currently making its way to the U.S.-Mexico border,” Firas Nasr, the founding organizer, told DCist. “We wanted to shed light on him and on the Trump administration’s egregious response to the migrant and refugee caravan. What better way to do it than to bring a whole crowd of people dancing to Arabic music and Spanish music to him?”

The dance party protest began on the north side of the White House and moved toward Miller’s luxury complex, reportedly in a $1 million condo, according to the Washington Post.

Nasr was unsure if Miller would be home; during the last protest there in June, the president’s aide was traveling. According to The Hill, DCist confirmed he wasn’t there.

Nevertheless, protesters played drums and threw biodegradable confetti while chanting “Stephen Miller, what a villain, locking up immigrant children,” The Hill reported.

WERK for Peace was formed in 2016, in the wake of shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Since then, they’ve held similarly rowdy protests in Washington, D.C., outside the homes of Vice President Pence and White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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Michael Cohen Is Going To Prison — But At Least It’s Very Jewy

Michael Cohen was accepted into his top choice prison: FCI Otisville, 70 miles northwest of New York City and beloved of the best white-collar Jewish criminals for its range of ethnic amenities.

Perks include a full-time Jewish chaplain, kosher kitchen — featuring matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, beef cholent and rugelach — and weekly Shabbat services, according to New York Magazine. When it comes time for Passover, Cohen will be well fed during the full, inmate-led Seder held in the prison’s cafeteria on white tablecloths, the food in airplane-style prepackaged trays. And instead of the traditional four cups of wine, there will be four cups of grape juice.

“It’ll be boring. He’ll lose his freedom, but he won’t be in fear of his safety there,” said Alan Ellis, a lawyer and author of “Federal Prison Guidebook,” to NBC News.

Former Jewish inmates includes Sam Waksal of biopharmaceutical company ImClone Systems, disgraced financier Martin Frankel and Kenneth Ira Starr, who carried out a $35 million Ponzi scheme. Sholam Weiss, a businessman convicted of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering, is still there. The infamous Bernard Madoff applied but was not accepted — he’s in North Carolina at FCI Butner.

As for freedom, Cohen may find he has more: He said in court Wednesday that he had been living in a “personal and mental incarceration” under Trump.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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