By Ashley Parker
Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is currently in Iraq, two White House officials confirmed Sunday evening.
Kushner is traveling with Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who invited him on the trip, an official confirmed. The New York Times first reported that Kushner was on the trip.
The purpose of Kushner’s visit was not immediately clear, and the White House did not provide details. But Kushner, 36, who is married to the president’s elder daughter, Ivanka Trump, acted as a de facto campaign manager during much of the 2016 presidential race, and has consolidated even more power since entering the White House.
Kushner has been acting as a shadow diplomat, and his portfolio includes China, Mexico, Canada and the Middle East. The president, in fact, has specifically tasked Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, with brokering peace in the region.
He also recently emerged as the head of the Office of American Innovation, a SWAT team of sorts tasked with bringing a more business-minded approach to overhauling the federal government.
Although Kushner’s closeness to Trump, as well as his mushrooming portfolio, has prompted some grumbling and mocking within the White House - and outside - Kushner remains a deeply influential figure.
Often, amid the warring factions that have plagued Trump’s young presidency, Kushner finds himself in the role of therapist and mediator, gathering the feuding parties in his office to help forge consensus.