NEW YORK (AP) — A new power player has emerged among the feuding factions behind Donald Trump's presidential campaign, one that through the bonds of marriage enjoys a direct line to the Republican billionaire.
Despite limited political experience and some family baggage, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is playing an active role in virtually every aspect of the New York real estate magnate's presidential bid. And empowered through his marriage to Trump's trusted daughter Ivanka Trump, the 35-year-old Kushner operates with an extraordinary level of autonomy within an organization now struggling to shift its focus toward the general election.
Kushner's growing influence in recent weeks, as described by several people with direct knowledge of his role, has included the selection and vetting of potential running mates, planning for his father-in-law's transition to the White House, the campaign's nascent push to incorporate voter data into its strategy, fundraising, and the development of major policies. He also played a hand in writing Trump's closely watched speech, delivered with the aid of a teleprompter, on Tuesday night meant to reassure jittery Republicans after the candidate's attacks on a federal judge. Those confidants were not authorized to speak publicly.
The young businessman's rise adds a new complication to an intense internal power struggle.