Jared Kushner says 'Alice in Wonderland' key to understanding Trump administration, Woodward book claims

Specifically Cheshire cat character

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Wednesday 09 September 2020 22:24 BST
Jared Kushner on whether he is a 'grave national security risk'

Jared Kushner is quoted extensively in Rage, the new book from Watergate journalist Bob Woodward, at times musing about the nature of the presidency.

The Washington Post reports that president Donald Trump’s son-in-law once advised people that the most important guiding text to understanding the Trump presidency was Alice in Wonderland, according to Woodward’s book.

Within the fantasy novel by Lewis Carroll about a young girl who enters a surreal world by going down a rabbit hole, Kushner singles out the Cheshire cat as the character most like the administration.

He describes the cat’s strategy as endurance and persistence, not direction.

Kushner, a senior adviser in the White House, is quoted by Woodward as saying that the “most dangerous people around the president are overconfident idiots”.

Woodward interprets this as a reference to former secretary of defence General Jim Mattis, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson, and former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn.

Any animosity was mutual. Woodward says that Kushner was seen as untrustworthy and weak in dealing with heads of states by cabinet members, The Post reports.

Kushner’s warm dealings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were seen by Tillerson as “nauseating to watch. It was stomach churning,” Woodward writes.

Rage covers the last two years of the Trump administration including the response to the coronavirus pandemic. His first book on the Trump presidency, Fear, came out in 2018.

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