Top White House aide Jared Kushner gives rare remarks

Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser of US President Donald Trump,  has been mocked by satirists for his monastic quiet.
Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser of US President Donald Trump, has been mocked by satirists for his monastic quiet. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Top White House aide - and presidential son-in-law - Jared Kushner is among the most powerful men in the United States, but few have heard him speak, until now.

His voice is familiar enough to those working in and around the White House, but not many people have heard him speak. On Monday (June 19), Mr Kushner gave rare public remarks.

In a mid-to-high pitch, with long vowels and smooth consonants, the 36-year-old husband of Ivanka Trump for about seven minutes read prepared remarks on technological innovation.

"Together we have set ambitious goals and empowered inter-agency teams to tackle our objectives. It's working and it's very exciting," he said.

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Since joining the administration, Mr Kushner has been mocked by satirists for his monastic silence.

A Trump impersonator on the comedy show Saturday Night Live affectionately described him "a little Jewish Amelie," after the tight-lipped and impish star of the eponymous French film.

 
 

In the first days of his administration, Mr Trump appeared to believe there was no challenge too confounding, no conflict too intractable for his son-in-law to tackle.

He has been tasked with resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, America's opioid epidemic and injecting the nation's bureaucracy with entrepreneurial spirit.

Mr Kushner is often seen standing beside Trump in the Oval Office or climbing the steps of Marine One but rarely heard beyond the corridors of power in Washington.

Hardline conservatives in the White House have long seen Ivanka and her husband Kushner - also a real estate developer - as "New York progressives" trying to bend the volatile president to their way of thinking.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Monday announced that Mr Kushner would soon go to the Middle East on the latest peace drive, meeting leaders Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmud Abbas.