Jared Kushner Breaks His Public Silence 🗣️

 Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Kushner's 15 minutes

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, appeared in a rare television interview on Monday. Van Jones interviewed Kushner as part of CNN’s political forum, CITIZEN.

From prison reform to Saudi Arabia

The pre-arranged interview was meant to highlight prison reform, a policy area on which Kushner and Jones have previously collaborated. They also discussed Kushner’s path to the White House, his relationship with Ivanka Trump, and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  


A "SOFTBALL" INTERVIEW:

Splinter: Van Jones’ Interview with Jared Kushner Was a Master Class in How Not to Do That

The Week: Watch Jared Kushner Easily Spin Away from Discussing Jamal Khashoggi’s Death with CNN’s Van Jones

Critics have called Kushner’s appearance a “softball” interview, in reference to Jones’ affable tone and questioning style. This side argues that Jones should have asked more hard-hitting questions, considering Kushner’s responsibilities in the Middle East, his close relationship with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and the ongoing confusion over Khashoggi.

A SUBSTANTIVE INTERVIEW:

Politico: ‘Where is Jared?’ No More: Kushner Cornered on Saudi Debacle

Mediaite: Van Jones Defends Jared Kushner Interview: People Wanted Me to ‘Cut Him Off’ or ‘Beat Him Up’

Those satisfied with the interview have emphasized the momentous nature of Kushner’s appearance, praising him for confronting some of the week’s biggest issues in person. Jones himself has defended the interview by explaining that he wanted to give Kushner the space to say something potentially of consequence, as he typically avoids interviews.


Caution or change for US-Saudi relations?

At the time of Kushner’s interview, the official US attitude toward Khashoggi’s disappearance was one of diplomatic caution, and Kushner complied with this strategy. But on Tuesday, evidence of Khashoggi's murder was found and Trump came out calling it the "worst cover-up in history." This has led us into a new chapter for US-Saudi relations with outcomes yet to be seen.

Saudi Crown Prince right now

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