April 4, 2017


The Pentagon Now Knows That To Get To Trump, You Go Through Jared Kushner (Nancy A. Youssef, 4/03/17, BuzzFeed News)

Given the Trump White House's thwarting the conventional chains of command, the Pentagon has decided to go along, in the hopes that the face time -- coupled with the experience of traveling to the front lines of the war against ISIS -- will become leverage in the discussions about the way ahead.

"You have to understand where the levers are. You don't have to like it, but that is where they are," a defense official told BuzzFeed News. "It's in our interest." [...]

The pair were scheduled to depart after only four hours on the ground, ensuring Kushner is back in time to manage Xi Jinping's visit later this week. A visit that brief is not enough to understand the complex situation in Iraq, but for a fleeting moment for first-time visitors, it can feel like it. Dunford said in a statement released Sunday night that he invited Kushner to see events on the ground, "first-hand and unfiltered."

Dunford stood to gain something as well. For him, it was hours of direct access to arguably the most influential White House adviser -- 16 hours sealed inside a plane to be exact.

"That is a looong time to have someone's ear," a second defense official explained to BuzzFeed News.

Defense officials said while according to the official story, Dunford invited Kushner, they are not sure if the idea was that simple. Rather it was "DoD initiated," the first defense official said. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis already had extended a similar invitation to Kushner and Steve Bannon, White House chief strategist.

Posted by at April 4, 2017 6:51 AM