Jared Kushner's influence in his father-in-law's White House comes under the microscope on the Sunday front pages of the New York Times and Washington Post in separate articles speculating that his role is waning. Both offer up a bevy of reasons Kushner is no longer front-and-center in both photo ops and the president’s inner circle. Per the Times, just 10 months into spearheading the Office of American Innovation, the “do-whatever-you-want stage of Kushner’s tenure is over," largely because a new sheriff is in town. Under White House chief of staff John Kelly, Kushner’s free reign and access to the president has been limited, with reports he told associates, "Jared works for me." Three advisers to the president also say Kelly has discussed the possibility of ousting Kushner and Ivanka Trump from the west wing by end of year.
Kelly disputed those claims in an interview Friday, followed by an email from the White House in which the president praised Kushner’s efforts. "Jared is working very hard on peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and the last thing I would ever do is get in the way of that possibility," Trump wrote. One possible source of tension: Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, which sources tell the Post that the president blames Kushner for its widening scope (the White House denies this.) Kushner has yet to be interviewed by Mueller’s team. The Post points out that the recent exit of adversaries like Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus may mean Kushner’s absence from headlines could simply mean he's no longer clamoring for space and can finally put his head down and work.