You might want to take yet another anonymous-sourced report with a grain of salt, but President Donald Trump supposedly regrets taking First-Son-in-Law Jared Kushner’s advice on enacting bipartisan sentencing and prison reform in the First Step Act.
An article in Axios claims that “One person who spoke with the president interpreted his thinking this way: ‘No more of Jared’s woke s***.’ Another said Trump has indicated that following Kushner’s advice has harmed him politically.”
It remains to be seen if the adage get woke, go broke, will apply in the political context.
Instead, the president will hew closer to his own political instincts in the run-up to Election Day 2020, the story indicates. Against this backdrop, some conservatives have allegedly advised the president to distance himself from key adviser Kushner in the context of re-election strategy.
“Trump never really wanted criminal justice reform, according to people who have discussed the subject with him privately. He’s told them he only supported it because Kushner asked him to. Though he has repeatedly trumpeted it as a politically useful policy at times.” Axios speculated. “Trump now says privately it was misguided to pursue this policy, undercutting his instincts…”
In September 2019, Politico claimed, again via unnamed sources, that the president concluded that sweeping criminal justice reform package approved by Congress was “a total dud,” and as a result, he was “furious at Jared because Jared is telling him he’s going to get all these votes of all these felons.”
“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,” Politico added.
The president has often touted the First Step Act in press conferences, however, calling attention to the fact that the Obama/Biden administration failed to get it done in eight years.
Other aspects of the administration’s initiatives for the African American community (and other communities) — which seem sincere — include opportunity zones, permanent funding for historically black colleges, and record (pre-COVID) unemployment among blacks, Hispanics, and the workforce generally.
In addition, in mid-June, Trump signed an executive order revolving around grant funding for more police training and de-escalation techniques. It remains to be seen if Congress will pass more far-reaching police reform measures.
In the meantime, the president’s support for law enforcement is unwavering. Indeed, it doesn’t come down to a binary choice. The president or the American people of all backgrounds can both support sensible police reform and still favor law enforcement simultaneously.
Parenthetically, the FBI and prosecutorial misconduct in the General Flynn and Roger Stone cases provide other examples where room for improvement exists in the criminal justice system.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany pushed back against the Axios report.
“President Trump is very proud of the historic work that he’s done to benefit all communities. The First Step Act made historic strides toward rectifying racial disparities in sentencing while his executive order to secure America’s streets works with our nation’s heroic police officers to ensure we have safe policing and safe communities.”
Per another White House official who is unidentified, “Numerous anonymous sources have attempted to provide separation between Jared and the president. They have failed for the last three and a half years. They are not going to be successful today either.”
Axios tried to cover itself by noting that Trump’s purported disillusionment with the more liberal Kushner “could just be a passing phase.”
It does seem to be accurate that Tucker Carlson’s nightly must-watch monologues have influenced the president, and the host of FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight has made it clear that his no fan of Jared Kushner.
Tucker Carlson’s Segment On Jared Kushnerhttps://t.co/V4uszSnzCL
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) July 1, 2020
President Trump maintains that the silent majority will carry him to victory in November, Axios noted.