A new book says that when Donald Trump was in the White House, he almost fired his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner. However, former chief of staff John Kelly refused to tweet about their firings.
Maggie Haberman, a journalist, says in her new book Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America that the former president talked about firing his daughter and son-in-law, who were both senior White House staffers, on meetings with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and former White House Counsel Don McGahn.
Haberman says Trump even said he could tweet that he and his daughter were leaving, but Kelly stopped him. Ultimately, both stayed in their White House jobs until the end of Trump’s tenure and were never fired.
CNN obtained a copy of the book before it was released October 4 and in another piece, Haberman writes that Trump sometimes pokes fun at his son-in-law in private, saying he “sounds like a child.” This happened in 2017, sources said.
There have been similar claims in the past that Trump wanted to fire Ivanka and Jared. In her 2019 book Kushner Inc., which is based mostly on anonymous interviews, author Vicki Ward says Trump once told Kelly, “Get rid of my kids. Send them back to New York.
At the time, the White House said the claim was “based on shady anonymous sources and false information.”
But the story was similar to those already told. For example, in a 2018 article, the Washington Post said Trump told Kelly he thought Ivanka and her husband might want to return to New York, where they would be safer from Washington’s “blood sport” and less than a target for negative media attention.
In his own book, Kushner recounts how he, his wife, and Kelly, the former chief of staff, had a strained relationship. In Breaking History: A White House Memoir, Kushner says Kelly “bumped” Ivanka after a tense meeting at the White House.
“One day he had just emerged from a contentious meeting in the Oval Office,” Kushner wrote. “Ivanka was walking down the main corridor in the West Wing when she passed him. Not noticing his heated state of mind, she said, “Hello, boss.” Kelly pushed her out of the way and charged. She was unhurt and unfazed by the altercation, but in her rage Kelly had shown her true character.
Kushner also said Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, apologized to Ivanka in her West Wing office about an hour after the meeting. Much has been made of how strained Kelly’s relationship is with Trump’s daughter and son-in-law. In February 2018, Kelly reportedly downgraded Kushner’s security clearance from top secret to classified.
In a 2019 interview after Kelly left his post as chief of staff, he said of the pair: “They were an influence to deal with.”
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