New details from Jared Kushner’s upcoming memoir are giving us rare glimpses into the Trump White House and it sounds like being part of that administration was like trying to survive in the gladiator pits.
CNN is sharing excerpts from Kushner’s Breaking History: A White House Memoir, which is set to hit shelves next month. In it, the former president’s son-in-law lets loose on his number one enemy in the early days of Trump’s reign and, it’s exactly who you think it’d be. Kushner, who had no political or policy-making experience before Trump gave him a White House job, admitted he clashed with campaign manager Steve Bannon on more than one occasion and even labeled him a “toxic West Wing presence” and a “black belt in the dark arts of media manipulation.”
In fact, Kushner attributes most of the negative press about his role in the administration to leaks provided to reporters by Bannon himself. On one occasion, Kushner asked Bannon to stop leaking information on another Trump team member, senior economic adviser Gary Cohn and Bannon reacted by violently threatening the man.
Another time, Bannon blew up at Kushner for trying to do damage control by giving an interview to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman explaining why Trump had kicked both Bannon and then-chief of staff, Reince Priebus, off Air Force One.
“‘How f—ing dare you leak on me? If you leak out on me, I can leak out on you 28 ways from Sunday,'” Kushner writes.
Of course, in the end, Bannon’s bad behavior was pardoned by Trump — something Kushner oddly supported despite being the guy’s favorite punching bag for years.
“Seriously?” Trump said to Kushner, according to the book. “You would really be for that? After everything he did to you?”
“Bannon single-handedly caused more problems for me than anyone else in my time in Washington. He probably leaked and lied about me more than everyone else combined. He played dirty and dragged me into the mud of the Russia investigation. But now that he was in trouble, I felt like helping him was the right thing to do,” Kushner writes.
But the most hilarious nugget to come from the book is how proud of himself Kushner was once Trump gave Bannon the boot.
“Admitting that I didn’t yet have any major policy successes to show for my seven months in government, I joked, ‘At least I was able to get Steve Bannon fired. That partially saves the world from immediate disaster,'” Kushner writes, noting that his friend told him, “You don’t get credit for that…you’re supposed to do that.”