Jared Kushner’s financial portfolio made waves this weekend — he and Ivanka are said to have combined assets that likely surpass $700 million (with a nice chunk coming from hotel holdings) — but the announcement of his unexpected visit to Iraq is stealing the spotlight. One quick visit to Twitter reveals a ton of folks wondering what on earth Kushner could be doing there. Details are scarce, but Reuters spoke with a U.S. official who indicated that Kushner simply wanted to stand in solidarity with the Iraqi government:
White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, is visiting Iraq with Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, a senior Trump administration official said on Sunday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Kushner wanted to see Iraq for himself and to show support for the Iraqi government. The official was confirming a report by other media, including a tweet by a New York Times reporter.
The New York Times adds that Kushner’s appearance in Iraq happened through Gen. Dunford’s invitation, which is still mysterious. In all likelihood, part of whatever Kushner is doing in Iraq is aimed at supporting the country’s fight against ISIS. This was also the main topic of discussion for Trump while meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi at the White House last week. The two men were said to have agreed on “unprecedented cooperation” to rid Iraq of the Islamic State, but Kushher (like his father-in-law) holds no relevant experience for his current endeavor.
Then again, a new Politico report says that some White House employees feel generally confused about Kushner’s lack of qualifications (his background is mainly in real estate and publishing) and that fact that he does “essentially what he wants.” He’s a senior advisor to the president and was recently announced as the leader of an in-the-works “SWAT team” that will transform federal bureaucracy into a finely-tuned (and golden) machine. Now, he’s popping over to the Middle East for a surprise visit because, well, no one really knows? This administration is weird.