White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner is reportedly behind a plan to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State — after a long-standing feud between the two intensified after Tillerson snubbed Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, on her trip to India.
The New York Times first reported Thursday that CIA Director Mike Pompeo is being mulled as a replacement for Tillerson, who has been widely rumored to be on the way out for months. Pompeo is reportedly much closer to President Trump and has a good relationship with the President, unlike Tillerson, who has appeared to distance himself from Trump on a number of occasions.
Tillerson is also understood to have had a fraught relationship with Kushner and Ms. Trump, reportedly referring to the high-profile Manhattanite couple as “the royal family.”
The Washington Examiner, citing a former White House aide, reports that Tillerson’s decision last week not to send a senior State Department delegation for Ivanka Trump’s widely touted trip to the annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India was “the last straw” for Kushner and has led him to be a key voice calling for Tillerson to be fired.
“There was increasing talk that Rex wasn’t going to be on the job for long, but the Ivanka story, that was kind of the last straw. It sort of sealed the deal,” the aide told the Examiner.
“This is Jared, 100 percent,” the aide said “[He and Tillerson] have been clashing heads since day one.”
Kushner has also been under increasing pressure in recent months, becoming a key target for FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, and drawing criticism from congressional committees for failing to turn over the necessary documents for their respective probes.
The man once dubbed “Mr. Perfect” is widely reported to be behind some of the most egregious mistakes of Trump’s presidency so far, including the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and Trump’s decision to back the doomed Alabama primary candidacy of Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL).
Two in-depth pieces from the New York Times and the Washington Post published on Saturday reported that Kushner’s influence in the White House was “shrinking” — raising the possibility that the White House is attempting to inoculate itself from Kushner as he becomes of greater interest in Mueller’s Russia probe.