WASHINGTON (JTA) — Move over Mideast peace “Deal of the Century.” Jared Kushner’s got a new job – overseeing construction of President Donald Trump’s Mexico border wall.
Trump wants to see progress on the wall as he enters this year’s re-election campaign, so he has tapped his White House senior adviser and son-in-law to make it happen, The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed current and former administration officials.
White House aides told the newspaper that Kushner has told other West Wing officials that he is in charge of the wall and that Trump wants to see at least 400 miles built by Election Day. Kushner holds biweekly meetings in the West Wing to discuss the wall’s progress with government officials.
He is pressing U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to seize the private land in Texas needed to build there, according to the report.
Trump promised during the last campaign to build a wall on the southern border and to make Mexico pay for it. Mexico isn’t paying and Congress has not allocated the money.
One unnamed person involved in the construction of the wall told the Post that Kushner has annoyed officials involved in the process because they said he displayed a lack of knowledge about the government procurement process and the “realities” of the project.
The Trump administration has completed 83 miles of new barriers, much of it strengthening the existing wall for a stronger and higher barrier.
In addition to the wall, Kushner’s other far-ranging responsibilities include presenting and sealing a Middle East peace deal, taking a lead role on trade policy, overseeing criminal justice reform and modernizing the government. He also has a leadership role in the 2020 campaign.
The peace deal has been completed but has not been presented publicly.