It is a truth universally acknowledged that Donald Trump trusts very few people.
His Son-in-Law-in-Chief, billionaire Jared Kushner, is one of them.
Before Trump brought General John Kelly into the West Wing as his Chief of Staff, Trump gave Kushner, 36 and with no previous government experience (except for developing a great dislike for Chris Christie for sending his father to prison) a wide portfolio, including achieving peace in the fraught Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Kushner is an Orthodox Jew.
Trump likes Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu — yup, the guy whom then House Speaker John Boehner invited to address a Joint Session of Congress without even talking to President Obama’s White House.
Naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a promise Trump made during his unlikely and supremely xeonophobic campaign last year, is a flash point in the Middle East, as all Muslim nations, especially those close to Israel, oppose it.
The roots of the conflict go way back to 1917 with the Balfour Declaration during the days of the British Mandate, and 1947 et seq. when the Arab nations blew it by killing the sensible notion that Jerusalem be an international city.
The US Embassy to Israel is in Tel Aviv. Both Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (who is about to be displaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo) have lobbied Trump hard not to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, lest it ruin any chance of peace between Israel and Palestine.
Annie Karni, one of Politico’s best reporters, said it best: “Kushner bets he can have it both ways on Jerusalem move" (https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/06/jared-kushner-trump-jerusalem-mideast-peace-283770).
But after Kelly arrived to make various (and very difficult) attempts to bring a vague sense of order to the White House, Kushner has lost some of his cred in the West Wing.
Associate solitary reporter Avrum Goldstein was in Jerusalem with Netanyahu, watching Trump’s announcement.
Netanyahu was all smiles. “I’ve just received a call from Donald Trump, for whom I campaigned vigorously last year.”
“He’s invited me to move the Israeli capital to Trump Tower, and I have accepted.”
“Now, whenever I want to talk to AIPAC, I won’t have far to go.”
“I am prepared to offer Israel to Trump’s USA as the fifty-first state.”
When Goldstein called Kelly to report on Netanyahu’s offer, Kelly immediately told Trump, who has scheduled a major announcement tomorrow to accept Netanyahu’s offer.
Goldstein and his large corps of associate solitary reporters are unanimous in declaring that all this is part of Trump’s mojo of distracting voters from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election.