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 talked him out of tweeting 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, in meetings with White House chief of staff John Kelly and former White House counsel Don McGahn.
Haberman says that Trump even said he could tweet that he and his daughter were leaving, but Kelly stopped him. In the end, both of them stayed in their jobs at the White House for the rest of Trump’s term and were never fired.
CNN got a copy of the book before it came out on October 4 and in another part, Haberman writes that Trump would sometimes make fun of his son-in-law in private by saying that he “sounds like a child.” This happened in 2017, sources says.
There have been similar claims in the past that Trump wanted to fire Ivanka and Jared. In her 2019 book, Kushner Inc., which is mostly based on anonymous interviews, author Vicky Ward says that Trump once told Kelly, “Get rid of my kids. Send them back to New York.”
At the time, the White House said that this claim was “based on shady anonymous sources and false information.”
But the story was similar to ones that had already been told. For example, in a 2018 article, the Washington Post said that Trump had told Kelly that he thought Ivanka and her husband might want to move back to New York, where they would be safer from the “blood sport” of Washington and less of a target for negative media attention.
In his own book, Kushner talks about how he, his wife and Kelly, the former chief of staff, had a tense relationship. In Breaking History: A White House Memoir, Kushner says that Kelly “shoved” Ivanka after a tense White House meeting.
“One day he had just marched out of a contentious meeting in the Oval Office,” Kushner writes. “Ivanka was walking down the main hallway in the West Wing when she passed him. Unaware of his heated state of mind, she said, ‘Hello, chief.’ Kelly shoved her out of the way and stormed by. She wasn’t hurt, and didn’t make a big deal about the altercation, but in his rage Kelly had shown his true character.”
Kushner also said that Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, apologized to Ivanka in her West Wing office about an hour after the meeting. There has been a lot of talk about how tense Kelly’s relationship is with Trump’s daughter and son-in-law. In February 2018, Kelly reportedly lowered Kushner’s security clearance from top secret to secret.
In an interview in 2019, after Kelly had quit being chief of staff, he said of the couple, “They were an influence that has to be dealt with.”
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