It’s time to take a closer look at Jared Kushner. Not just the photos of him that lately have shown him as a gaunt and alert presence – a little like a tall, much better looking Nosferatu, gazing darkly at some perhaps unsuspecting target.

The problem is, this liberal, New York, (yes he’s from New Jersey but he’s New York), Democrat is gaining power by the day if not the hour in President Trump’s White House. And the president trusts Jared it seems, as much as he does Steve Bannon. And not only that, Jared has shown an uncanny ability to emerge relatively unscathed during these stormy early days and weeks. Somehow deflecting attention away from himself by being impressively agile and discreet during the epic battles on healthcare, the immigration executive order, and the Russia investigation. Jared Kushner is very un-Nunes and un-Bannon let’s just say.

Until now perhaps.

Yes, call the plumbers, the White House is leaking again. The point being that someone inside is leaking to the press about an apparent slug-fest between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. And it’s no surprise that there may be some open conflict between the scrappy, elder Irish populist and the young, urbane and seemingly ruthless liberal. The policy direction of the White House is at stake.

Who does Trump trust just that little bit extra?

No, the question should be this: what are Trump’s core political beliefs? And while any healthy does of skepticism regarding anyone’s core beliefs in Washington D.C. might lead one to dismiss the question, that would be a little too cynical. President Trump is … the president. Of America. There’s nowhere he can hide his opinions and beliefs. Nor is he inclined to. And his core beliefs matter. And that’s where most of the criticism from the right focused their contempt for Trump’s candidacy on. He’s a Democrat. He’s a New York Liberal. He’s not one of us. He can’t be trusted. While the left attacked him lustily on the very grounds he was claiming: nationalist populism and a sort-of America First recycling of earlier movements. Even as they shared a sort of disbelief with the right at his rise through the primaries and the election itself.

At this point, Trump has assembled an impressive and mostly conservative cabinet and group of advisers. With Bannon as a fire-breathing populist apparently in various key positions. Until his demotion this week at the National Security Council. Right at the same time as Kushner seems ascendent in the Trump White House.

Has Kushner carefully cultivated relationships with officials and cabinet members as he studiously avoided the limelight? We don’t really know. Is he advising the president to move left on healthcare and work with Democrats? We can’t really tell. Is he helping shape policy in the Middle East, in places like Syria? We have no idea if he travelled there to be a faithful observer for President Trump, or if he has an agenda.

It’s time to shine a little light on Jared Kushner. Perhaps the following weeks and months will bring some needed details on what the President’s son-in-law’s role, or roles, in the White House really are. And it may be that some conservative media outlets on good terms with Bannon will be more than glad to take up that task.

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