Woodward's Interviews with Jared Kushner

    Kushner's two interviews with Woodward, April 18 and May 8, discussed in Woodward's book Rage, and on the CNN page at this link, which page also has audio from the interviews, which were recorded by Woodward:

    Jared Kushner bragged in April that Trump was taking the country 'back from the doctors'

    Trump had given Woodward the go ahead to interview Kushner in a recorded interview on Feb. 19:

    Trump - "I told Jared to speak to you, and I believe he has," Trump told Woodward on February 19. Trump said he asked Kushner to coordinate with others in the administration "so that Bob can speak to anybody he wants to. Jared will handle -- very capable guy, Jared. You can't get people like this."

    At the time of the first Kushner recorded interview with Woodward in April, positive cases in the US were at around 30,000 per day. On April 15, three days before Kushner's interview, deaths from Covid-19 reached their all-time peak at more than 2,600 per day. And hospitalizations for the virus were at their first peak as well, nearly reaching 60,000 for several days in April.

    The first interview on April 18:

    Kushner - "There were three phases. There’s the panic phase, the pain phase and then the comeback phase. I do believe that last night symbolized kind of the beginning of the comeback phase. That doesn’t mean there’s not still a lot of pain and there won’t be pain for a while, but that basically was, we’ve now put out rules to get back to work. Trump’s now back in charge. It’s not the doctors. They’ve kind of – we have, like, a negotiated settlement.

    "The last thing was kind of doing the guidelines, which was interesting. And that in my mind was almost like – you know, it was almost like Trump getting the country back from the doctors. Right? In the sense that what he now did was, you know, he’s going to own the open-up."

    "The states have to own the testing," Kushner said. "The federal government should not own the testing. And the federal government should not own kind of the rules. It's got to be up to the governors, because that's the way the federalist system works."
    "But the President also is very smart politically with the way he did that fight with the governors to basically say, no, no, no, no, I own the opening. Because again, the opening is going to be very popular. People want this country open. But if it opens in the wrong way, the question will be, did the governors follow the guidelines we set out or not?"

    "I say he basically did a full hostile takeover of the Republican Party.  And I don't think it's even as much about the issues. I think it's about the attitude.... I learned this early on that neither party is really a party. They’re collections of tribes. Right? And so the Republican Party was a collection of a bunch of tribes. And then, you know, parties as they grow tend to be more about being exclusive than inclusive. And so, you know, you look at, like, the Republican Party platform, it’s a document meant to, like, piss people off basically. Because it’s done by activists."

    The second Kushner interview on May 8:

    Kushner - "So if you basically say this is coming back in the fall, don't gear up, then people won't rehire, people will stay unemployed," Kushner told Woodward. "And if you're planning for the worst-case scenario, that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. One of the things that the President's great at is he's a cheerleader. He's trying to make people feel good about the outcome."

    "The most dangerous people around the president are over-confident idiots. Right? Because that has a way, sometimes, of getting past his defense mechanism because if you’re overconfident, then sometimes, you know, on a topic where he doesn’t have other people around to kind of validate it, then he can sometimes say, okay, let’s go with that. So that’s kind of – I think if you look at the evolution over time, we’ve gotten rid of a lot of the over-confident idiots, and now he’s got a lot more thoughtful people who kind of know their place and know what to do."


    Paul Waldman:

    ....Trump and Kushner thought they were being so shrewd and so clever. Such a couple of political geniuses. Look at us, playing four-dimensional chess!

    I would remind you that today, the government’s actual experts have been pushed aside, and the administration’s pandemic response is being overseen by a radiologist with no training in epidemiology or public health, who has a long history of peddling misinformation on the pandemic and who got the job because Trump saw him on Fox News.

    What's wrong with radiology? It's as good as TV. Rush Limbaugh, one of the best radiologists out there. Sinclair Broadcast - a perfectly fine radiology network. I mean, look at Howard Stern - he had the first direct satellite radiology talk show - used to be one of the wild and wacky best until he got influenced by never-Trumpers.

    Dr. Atlas sells this radiology therapy on QAnon websites. It's huge with Q.

    I'm used to pulling it *out my ass*, not putting it in, but just may give it a try, not that I'm, ehrm, "sexually weak". What kind of ointment, and how many fingers?

    Why float Jared/Trump debts?

    Still makes no sense - even if Trump "bullies", why extend him more credit? Some missing link here.


    Endless litigation, with no satisfactory result for the banks.

    From Wiki, Trump International Chicago:

    Trump cited a "force majeure" clause that allowed the borrower to delay completion of the project under a catch-all section covering "any other event or circumstance not within the reasonable control of the borrower".[116] Trump not only sought an extension, but sought damages of $3 billion from the bank for its use of predatory lending practices to undermine the project and damage his reputation, which he claimed "is associated worldwide with on-time, under-budget, first-class construction projects....

    I get the impression that (espec. before his presidency) the only people he has ever listened to and followed their instructions is his corporate lawyers. (And I don't mean his personal lawyers like Michael Cohen, those he used like handmaidens to clean up messes after he made them.)

    Back in 2016 it was reported his "real legal lawyers" would never discuss cases with Trump alone, but at a minimum two would be present, as witness to what Trump said, he being an inveterate liar and whiner.

    Delightful Vanity Fair title to article on topic:

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