President-elect Donald Trump says his Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner’s role in the White House could range from nothing to brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Trump is asked Tuesday in an on-the-record meeting with New York Times editorial staff what role Kushner would play in his administration.
“Oh. Maybe nothing. Because I don’t want to have people saying ‘conflict,’” Trump says at first. Then he adds that “the president of the United States is allowed to have whatever conflicts he wants,” according to a published transcript of the meeting.
Trump praises his son-in-law, saying: “Jared’s a very smart guy. He’s a very good guy. The people that know him, he’s a quality person and I think he can be very helpful.”
Trump then segues into the Middle East peace process. “I would love to be able to be the one that made peace with Israel and the Palestinians. I would love that, that would be such a great achievement. Because nobody’s been able to do it,” he says.
That prompts a question from reporter Maggie Haberman about whether Kushner “can be part of that.”
Trump replies: “Well, I think he’d be very good at it. I mean he knows it so well. He knows the region, knows the people, knows the players.”
Trump adds that though “really great people” have told him it is “impossible” to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians, “I disagree, I think you can make peace. I think people are tired now of being shot, killed. At some point, when do they come? I think we can do that. I have reason to believe I can do that.”