Jared Kushner conducted his own foreign policy, cutting out the State Department
In May, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a behind-closed-doors appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. As details of Tillerson’s testimony begin to become public, what they reveal is that America had two completely separate sets of foreign policy initiatives. There were those put forward in the normal, typical, legal way … and a set of secret meetings conducted by Jared Kushner, the contents of which are still unknown.
The Washington Post reports that Kushner “operated independently,” and left Tillerson and other officials “out of the loop.” This didn’t just include Kushner’s trips to visit with Saudi Arabian prince Mohammed bin Salman. It also featured lining up secret meetings with Mexican officials, including one in which Tillerson stumbled upon a get-together between Kushner and Mexico’s foreign secretary simply because others assumed that the secretary of state had to be aware that a top White House adviser was engaged in a meeting about critical policies.
Tillerson said he was also cut out of meetings conducted by Kushner and Steve Bannon with the leadership of Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. Those meetings led up to the United States declaring its support for a move against U.S. ally Qatar. The Saudis and their supporters blockaded their tiny neighbor, costing that country billions in trade, in an attempt to shutter press sites that were critical of the Saudi royals and force Qatar into becoming a client state of Saudi Arabia. Months into the emergency, Kushner suddenly announced that his family business was being bailed out with a loan of more than $1.2 billion from a wealth fund based in the nation whose blockade he had helped to arrange.
In his testimony, Tillerson said that he was angered at being cut out of major policy decisions and having the State Department sidelined from its area of expertise. He also stated that he confronted Kushner, who said he “would try to do better.” Except he didn’t. In addition to the meetings Tillerson mentioned, Kushner made repeated personal visits to Mohammed bin Salman, during which he appears to have provided the names of dissidents for torture and execution by the Saudis.
Tillerson refused to answer any questions about whether or not he had called Trump “a moron.”