WASHINGTON — While the rest of his senior staff scrambled all day Thursday and Friday morning to squeeze votes for President Donald Trump’s flailing health care package, one person remained notably absent: Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. He was in Aspen.
Along with this wife, Ivanka Trump, another key cog in the president’s inner circle, Kushner was on vacation, skiing with family in Colorado.
Paparazzi caught Kushner and Ivanka Trump taking leisurely strolls, enjoying ice cream cones with their three children and winding their way down the slopes.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, Trump was fuming. According to a source close to the president, “[Trump] is upset that his son-in-law and senior adviser was not around during this crucial week.”
As the health care bill teetered on the precipice without enough Republican votes to pass it, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the president “left everything on the field” in his efforts to get the bill passed.
Republicans ultimately pulled the bill without a vote, a blow to Trump’s early agenda.
It has not been entirely clear what specific role Kushner, who has no Capitol Hill or Washington background, would have played in a legislative effort.
When Ivanka Trump and the kids took off for Aspen last weekend, sharing a ride on Trump’s private 757 jet with Donald Trump Jr. and his family, and Eric and Lara Trump, Kushner stayed behind in Washington.
However, he only worked Monday, and by that evening was flying out to join the rest of the Trump clan. On Tuesday, an Instagram photo from Lara Trump showed Kushner and Ivanka Trump on top of a mountain.
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Looking good guys. Missing you all and thanks for taking care of my little man Donnie. For those who don't know Vanessa and I had to cut our vacation short (from 5 days to about 12 hours… ugh😭) because our other little man Tristan fell and broke his leg pretty badly. #family #familytime #vacation
And as the week wore on and it was clear Trump’s cornerstone campaign pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare was floundering with lawmakers, Kushner remained out West, leaving to Vice President Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus and Kellyanne Conway the arduous task of selling the plan on Capitol Hill.
Ivanka Trump’s absence was also noted. She posted on Instagram important White House moments, mentioning support, but she wasn’t at her usual place, seated at roundtable discussions, or standing beside her father’s chair in the Oval Office.
Instead, she was in Aspen, with her kids — leaving her new West Wing digs vacant, opting instead for quality spring break time with her immediate family.
Kushner’s plan to stay out of office while the health care package faltered could mean he’ll get some of the blame from his father-in-law.
Trump is reportedly already pointing fingers at his top staffers for what he considers shoddy support. Or Kushner could perhaps avoid the entire debacle; the Orthodox Jew typically stays away from work after sundown on Fridays.AlertMe