Condemn untrustworthy actions of government officials
While some may call President Donald Trump a misogynist, he is anything but that. He has appointed a woman to one of the most powerful positions in the White House: senior advisor to the president. She has , such as Middle East peace, government reform, opioid crisis management and criminal justice reform. She is also the liaison to China, Mexico and the Muslim Community. Her name? Jared Kushner.
In November 2009, Jared Kushner registered to vote in his home state, New York, and his gender is listed as “female,” . This mistake likely cannot be classified as voter fraud, which requires deliberately giving false information.
While this seemingly benign mistake does not endanger national security, there is no shortage of other problems Kushner has been involved in that might. It is easy to get caught up in attention-grabbing headlines — such as the ones revealing that Kushner is registered to vote as a female — but it is necessary to focus on the bigger issues at hand, the ones that make the American people doubt the trustworthiness and reliability of White House officials.
Every White House official is required to complete a national security questionnaire, the SF-86, which discloses one’s foreign contacts. , Kushner submitted his in January this year, yet has amended it three times since. Providing false information on the SF-86 can lead to the revocation of one’s security clearance, and can lead to prosecution if found to be done intentionally. In the same Washington Post article, legal analysts said “it was not uncommon for people to forget information” and Kushner immediately submitted an addendum the day after submitting the original, promising to submit a list of the overlooked contacts as soon as possible.
While failure to disclose information may seem to be a simple oversight that was easily rectified, it became clear that Kushner did not include his attendance at a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. When first asked about this, Kushner and his team did not respond to reporters’ questions regarding this issue and chose to stay silent, . Only later did he claim that he forgot to do so, but it is too much of a coincidence that he conveniently forgot to mention that Russian lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin was also present at the meeting, . , the meeting was held under the guise of discussing American adoptions of Russian orphans, a practice banned by the Magnitsky Act. However, the meeting was actually about sanctions imposed on Russia, a revelation which ignites more talk of possible collusion between the Trump team and Russia.
Mistakes can be made, but this does not seem like a mistake. Rather, it seems to be an intentional omission, something that must be taken seriously. If the omission was intentional, Kushner must have had a reason; namely, he was trying to not draw attention to an event that bears close resemblance to collusion with a foreign government to sway a presidential election.
Kushner also failed to disclose hundreds of millions of assets and financial holdings, a requirement under the law. Since his first filing in March, Kushner has amended the financial disclosure document 39 times as of July 21, . Forgetting something once — that can be classified as an oversight. However, 39 times indicates a high level of incompetency for not being able to properly complete a task 38 times.
, The New York Times reported that Jared Kushner and five other officials — Stephen Bannon, Reince Priebus, Gary Cohn, Stephen Miller and Ivanka Trump — used a private email account in order to plan events and speak with White House officials as well as outside advisors. The article also stated that while it is not illegal for officials to use private emails, it is under the condition that they do not delete any work-related emails. This would not be a news story if not for the hypocrisy of this situation; Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent during the 2016 election, was berated for her use of a private server during her time as Secretary of State.
Though Kushner neither leaked classified information nor posed a threat to the nation’s security, it is important to recognize the hypocrisy of Kushner and the five other officials using private emails, especially as the related controversy surrounded Clinton’s emails was blown out of proportion, possibly . What does it say about officials if they cannot take responsibility for their actions and refrain from committing actions they criticized others for?
It is easy to continue claiming that all of Kushner’s mistakes were simple oversights, but how many of these is the public supposed to dismiss? There has to be a point at which the public recognizes malfeasance for what it is and decides that White House officials should not be let off the hook for failing to meet the expectations of their position. Careless people should not be running the government; this will translate into bad decisions that do not benefit the country. In this day and age, information is priceless and a highly valued commodity. The public has a right to know who their representatives in government are, what their motivations consist of and what sort of biases they might have. Kushner thinks he can draw away attention from his constant problems by focusing on Middle East peace, but the public has a responsibility to remember his mistakes and hold him accountable for them.
Instead of focusing on trivialities such as Kushner’s gender according to New York State’s registration information, the public should use this as another example of Kushner’s nature. The public should not condone having a careless hypocrite in the White House, and it should not gloss over Kushner’s faults, but rather recognize them and pay close attention to his actions. Focusing on attention-grabbing headlines detracts from the real issue at hand: The public should not trust Jared Kushner.