Jared Kushner bragged in April that Trump was taking the country 'back from the doctors'
Oct 28, 2020 2 mins, 38 secs
In a taped interview on April 18, Kushner told legendary journalist Bob Woodward that Trump was "getting the country back from the doctors" in what he called a "negotiated settlement." Kushner also proclaimed that the US was moving swiftly through the "panic phase" and "pain phase" of the pandemic and that the country was at the "beginning of the comeback phase."

"That doesn't mean there's not still a lot of pain and there won't be pain for a while, but that basically was, we've now put out rules to get back to work," Kushner said.

By their calculations, Trump would be the "open-up president."

 CNN has obtained audio of two separate interviews with Kushner, which were conducted in April and May as part of Woodward's reporting for his book "Rage." In the wide-ranging conversations, Kushner described the President's relationship with his public health advisers in adversarial terms.

Kushner was also dismissive of party politics, calling the Republican Party, "a collection of a bunch of tribes" and describing the GOP platform as "a document meant to, like, piss people off, basically." Kushner went on to tell Woodward that Trump did a "full hostile takeover" of the Republican Party when he became its presidential nominee.

He also told Woodward, "The most dangerous people around the President are over-confident idiots" and that Trump had replaced them with "more thoughtful people who kind of know their place."

Kushner's comments about the administration's handling of the pandemic underscore the extent to which Trump and Kushner minimized the public health crisis even as it was exploding last spring.

At that time, positive cases in the US regularly crested at around 30,000 per day.

In his April 18 interview, Kushner described how he believed Trump had set himself up to reap the political benefits of a successful containment of the virus while ensuring that state governors, and not the President, would be blamed for any failure to stop the spread.

"The states have to own the testing," Kushner said.

But if it opens in the wrong way, the question will be, did the governors follow the guidelines we set out or not?"

In a second interview with Woodward on May 8, Kushner insisted that one of Trump's tasks for boosting the economy was to be a "cheerleader." Kushner referred to this as taking care of the "psychology of the market."

"So if you basically say this is coming back in the fall, don't gear up, then people won't rehire, people will stay unemployed," Kushner told Woodward.

You can't get people like this."

Activists and 'overconfident idiots'

In speaking with Woodward, Kushner also expressed contempt for the Republican Party and praised his father-in-law's insurgent takeover of the GOP.

"I say he basically did a full hostile takeover of the Republican Party," he said on April 18.

Because it's done by activists."

Months later, during its national convention, the Republican Party declined to update its platform and instead chose to readopt the 2016 platform.

Kushner's disdain also extended to those administration officials and advisers who had frustrated the President earlier in his term -- people Kushner describes as "overconfident idiots."

"We've gotten rid of a lot of the overconfident idiots," he told Woodward.

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