Jared Kushner, the top White House adviser and son-in-law of President Trump, has drawn criticism for being a political neophyte whose experience in real estate and publishing might not have prepared him to tackle his vast new portfolio.
But he got a kinda-vote-of-confidence from one of Washington’s consummate old hands: former secretary of state Henry Kissinger. Kissinger penned a few nice words about the new guy in his entry in the new Time 100 list, the magazine’s annual compendium of the hundred most influential people.
Kissinger writes that he met Kushner a year and a half ago after the former statesman gave a foreign policy lecture, and the two stayed in touch. The 93-year-old diplomat notes that Kushner has what it takes to do well. “As part of the Trump family, Jared is familiar with the intangibles of the president. As a graduate of Harvard and NYU, he has a broad education; as a businessman, a knowledge of administration,” he writes. “All this should help him make a success of his daunting role flying close to the sun.”
Okay, so it’s not exactly a gush. But it’s something …
The Time 100 list includes a handful of other Washington types with short blurbs written by unlikely authors. Former White House chief of staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wrote the entry for a current top White House aide. “Reince Priebus and I don’t share much beyond our Midwestern roots and unique names — and, of course, a love of politics,” Emanuel writes. “But we will always be in the small fraternity of those who answered a president’s call to serve as White House chief of staff.”
Other entries were a little more glowing, like entrepreneur Wendi Murdoch on her pal Ivanka Trump: “I am deeply impressed by her courage to leave behind life as she knew it and move her young family to Washington to pursue positive change.”
And House Speaker Paul Ryan lauded Trump: “Where others would pivot, he stays true to who he is.”