Jared Kushner warned Donald Trump against listening to the outside lawyers he’d gathered around himself during his attempt to overturn the 2020 election, telling his father-in-law that his legal team was sending him on “a funky ride”.
In his new book on the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency, The Fight of his Life, author Chris Whipple writes that Mr Kushner “chose to make himself scarce” in the days leading up to the January 6 attack on the Capitol because he “knew there was nothing there” when it came to Mr Trump’s claims to be the victim of a stolen election.
In the days following the election, Mr Kushner reportedly “worried that it could all end badly” in part due to Mr Trump’s reliance on attorneys such as Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, who were then pushing to embrace outlandish conspiracy theories and continue to lie about the election having been rigged against him.
Mr Whipple reveals that Mr Kushner declined to flat-out tell Mr Trump to get rid of the attorneys because he feared doing so would mean he’d “have to listen to his father-in-law complain that with Rudy and Sidney he could have won” for “the rest of his life”.
But in one interaction that Mr Whipple described as a “knock-down, drag out screaming match”, the real estate heir turned presidential adviser warned Mr Trump that his family’s advice was more in line with the then-president’s interests than his new allies.
“Look, when you’re out of here, a lot of people will scatter,” he said. “I’m with you until you hit the dirt – so you may want to listen to what I’m saying – these other people are taking you on a funky ride!”
According to Mr Whipple, Mr Kushner also told Mr Trump: “With all due respect, I’m not going to like what you are doing, and you’re going to be screaming at me,” while explaining his decision not to participate in Mr Trump’s efforts to stay in office despite having lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden.