Fox News host Tucker Carlson accuses Jared Kushner of having 'contempt' for Trump supporters

John T Bennett
US Ppresident Donald Trump and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner leave the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos Switzerland on 22 January 2020: Denis Balibouse/Reuters/file photo

Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, a conservative commentator sometimes quoted and applauded by Donald Trump, has lambasted presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner by alleging he has "contempt" for his father-in-law's supporters and had stifled his hardline instincts.

The president and Mr Kushner had not been back inside the White House very long after Mr Trump and some of his most notable Cabinet officials and West Wing aides walked to St. John's Episcopal Church across the street from the executive mansion before Mr Carlson's broadside. The Fox host seemed unaffected by the fact that US federal security forces had moments later cleared the president's path by firing rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters who had gathered near the church, at the top of Lafayette Park.

But he was clearly affected by what he perceives as Mr Kushner's habit of talking his father-in-law out of such acts of force against American citizens.

"Some key advisers around the president don't seem to understand this or the gravity of the moment. No matter what happens they'll tell you, 'Our supporters aren't going anywhere. The trailer parks are rock-solid. What choice do they have? They've got to vote for us,'" Mr Carlson said. "Jared Kushner, for one, has made that point out loud."

Then came a haymaker of a remark on a cable network that is hugely popular with Mr Trump's political base.

"No one has more contempt for Donald Trump's voters than Jared Kushner, and no one expresses it more frequently," he said.

"In 2016, Donald Trump ran as a law-and-order candidate because he meant it and his views remain fundamentally unchanged today," Mr Carlson added. "But the president's famously sharp instinct, the ones that won him the presidency almost four years ago, have been since subverted at every level by Jared Kushner. This is true on immigration, foreign policy, and especially on law enforcement."

Mr Carlson excluded any mention that on several of those matters, he was tasked by the president to cut deals with congressional Democrats and other countries' governments. By definition, that would mean giving up parts of any hardline Trump administration proposal to broker deals.

The Fox host appears to think Mr Trump and Mr Kushner should never compromise. He also accused Mr Kushner, apparently under a criminal justice reform bill he helped negotiate, orchestrating "a highly aggressive effort to let more criminals out of prison and back onto the street."

"This is reckless. At this moment in time, it's insane if it continues to happen. The president seems to sense this. At times, he seems aware that he's being led in the wrong direction and often derives Kushner as a liberal, and that's correct, he is," Mr Carlson said. "But he convinced the president that throwing up the prisons is the key to winning African American votes in the fall and that those votes are essential to his ree-lection."

As violent protests erupted in US cities following the death of George Floyd, a black man at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis, the president floated using military troops to quell the chaos. But he never gave the order. Until Monday evening, when military Blackhawk helicopters and uniformed National Guard troops were deployed on the streets of Washington, DC.

Why not sooner? Mr Carlson blames Mr Kushner.

"Several times over the last few days, the president has signalled he was very much liking to crack down on rioters. That's his instinct. If you've watched it you believe it, but every time he's been talked out of it by Jared Kushner and by aides that Kushner has hired and controls," Mr Carlson said. "The assumption is that African-Americans like looting. This is wrong. Normal Americans of all colours hate looting. Obviously. Why wouldn't they hate looting? They are decent people."

That changed Monday night when the president spoke from the White House Rose Garden, law enforcement cannons audible behind him firing tear gas at protesters to move them from the area around the church to which he would soon walk.

"A number of state and local governments have failed to take necessary action to safeguard their residents," Mr Trump said. "I am mobilising all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson, and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans."

As his father-in-law held up a Bible outside St. Johns Church, to the horror of its clergy, Mr Kushner stood a few feet away – expressionless

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