Jared Kushner, who is President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, has drawn criticism after an audio clip from April surfaced in which he said that Trump was taking the U.S. "back from the doctors."
CNN reports that Kushner spoke with journalist Bob Woodward on April 18, speaking about how the coronavirus pandemic was unfolding at the time. The comments arrived as over 40,000 Americans had already died due to COVID-19 complications. He said Trump was "getting the country back" as part of a "negotiated settlement," boasting how the country is moving away from the advice of experts. He suggested that the country was going through a "panic phase" and "pain phase" of the pandemic at the time, and that the "comeback phase" was on the horizon. As cases continue to rise across the world, it's clear he missed the mark.
"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," Kusner said. "Trump's now back in charge. It's not the doctors. They’ve kind of – we have, like, a negotiated settlement." The audio was published by CNN on Wednesday, and the interview was originally conducted in April for Woodward's book Rage. He had a follow-up interview with Kushner the following month, in which they spoke about the President's relationship with public health advisers.
Kushner explained that getting the country to open "was almost like Trump getting the country back from the doctors. Right? In the sense that what he now did was, you know, he’s going to own the open-up."
The interviews also saw him refer to the Republican Party "a collection of a bunch of tribes," and described the GOP's platform as "a document meant to, like, piss people off, basically." He went on to allege that Trump has essentially conducted a "full hostile takeover" of the party, and that the "most dangerous people around the President are over-confident idiots." He went on to praise Trump, and said that he had since replaced these individuals with "more thoughtful people who kind of know their place."
See reactions to Kushner's dismissive comments below.