President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has taken a step back from running point on the administration’s China policy, and a diminished role could be on display during the president’s trip to Asia next month.
Kushner is expected to go on the trip, but may only accompany the president for half of the 12-day multi-country jaunt, Politico reported.
The trip begins in Hawaii, then goes on to Japan, South Korea, and Japan, before taking the president to Vietnam and the Philippines.
In April, Kushner helped coordinate Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Mar-a-Lag, and he and wife Ivanka Trump were seated next to Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan.
Jared Kushner, senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, is expected to accompany the president to Asia even as his role on China is being pared back to accommodate new arrivals
A team of seasoned advisors is expected to accompany the president. Among them are national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, and policy advisor Stephen Miller are expected to go along, as are other security officials.
Economic advisor Peter Navarro, a China hawk, is not slated to go, two sources told the publication. Chief of staff John Kelly recently intervened to place his portfolio under the National Economic Council. He is nevertheless a trusted Trump confidante who accompanied the candidate on the campaign trail.
Kushner carved out influence on China even before Trump office, as he took on responsibilities that included Middle East peace efforts.
Kushner’s itinerary is not yet confirmed. He also met with China’s foreign minister during the transition.
Kushner accompanied his father in law on previous overseas trips. He is seen here with Vice President Mike Pence
US President Donald Trump spoke by telephone with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who used a landmark Communist Party Congress to consolidate his hold on power. Trump hailed his ‘extraordinary elevation’
Ivanka Trump will deliver a speech to the World Assembly for Women next week in Tokyo two days before her father’s arrival in Japan
Trump congratulated Xi with a tweet on Wednesday, showing no inhibition about lauding the leader of a strategic rival.
“Spoke to President Xi of China to congratulate him on his extraordinary elevation. Also discussed NoKo & trade, two very important subjects!” Trump tweeted after the two men spoke.
Ivanka Trump will travel to Japan in advance of the president, accepting an invitation from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to deliver remarks at a summit on November 3.
Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner, also an aide to the president, accompanied President Trump on two previous foreign trips. They broke off partway through the first one to enjoy an extra evening in Rome before they returned to Washington.