Jared Kushner’s popularity has plummeted following four years in the White House

Donald Trump’s son-in-law’s efforts on Middle East peace, the Covid response and China have not been well received among voters

Harriet Alexander
Tuesday 03 November 2020 13:59 GMT
Jared Kushner implies some Black people don't 'want to succeed'

Jared Kushner has seen his popularity plummet over the last four years, with almost four in ten Americans saying they have a worse view of him than when he entered the White House, according to a new poll commissioned by the Independent.

Mr Kushner, the 39-year-old husband of Ivanka Trump and one of Donald Trump’s closest advisers, is widely seen as being the power behind the throne — someone Mr Trump has trusted with his thorniest problems, such as liaising with the Mexicans, working on a Middle East peace plan, and procuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPR) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

His efforts, however, have not been widely applauded by his compatriots.

Thirty eight per cent of people who responded to a JL Partners survey for the Independent said they felt worse about him than they did in 2016, and only 14 per cent said he had gone up in their estimation.

His wife fared even worse: 43 per cent said their view of her had worsened, and 23 per cent said they felt better.

JL Partners spoke to 1,002 people between 26 October and 28 October for their survey.

Mr Kushner, who like his wife comes from a real estate developing family, has played a low-key, behind-the-scenes role and infrequently speaks in public. Unlike his wife, he has not been stumping for the president.

His influence within the White House cannot be overstated, though, which has frequently led to bad-mouthing from those jealous or opposed to his actions.

Mr Kushner’s office is directly next to the Oval Office, Vanity Fair reported, and he repeatedly clashed with figures such as Steve Bannon, the larger-than-life 2016 campaign manager.

On Monday Mr Kushner found himself in hot water when he suggested that Black Americans must “want” to be successful for them to have a better life.

“President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about — but he can’t help them be successful more than they want to be successful,” Kushner said. 

“President Trump may not always say the right things but he does the right things." 

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump pictured with the two eldest of their three children — Arabella, nine, and six-year-old Joseph

The Democratic National Committee issued a statement assailing Mr Kushner for suggesting that demanding accountability for the deaths of Black men and women at the hands of law enforcement was just “complaining.”

His supporters argue that he has not got enough credit for his work negotiating the Nafta replacement or in the Middle East, where Sudan, Bahrain and the UAE have all agreed to recognise Israel.

Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, defended Mr Kushner in Politico last month, in particular over his pressure on the Palestinians.

"The tectonic plates were shifting such that the only path to peace no longer ran through the Palestinians, if it ever did. The frustration that Kushner was expressing about the Palestinian leadership was shared by key Arab leaders.

"Of course, since Kushner had been intensely engaged in the region for years, he understood this when most of the journalists and advocates portraying him as a hopeless ignoramus had no idea. 

“He knew what he was talking about when they, by and large, didn’t.”

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