Trump ‘Knows Republicans Are Stupid,’ Jared Kushner Allegedly Said to Former Editor

One of the strategies Donald Trump employed as he began putting his name on the U.S. political map years ago was championing “birtherism,” the long-held conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was born outside of the U.S. and hence should never have been elected. He often chastised Obama and demanded the president produce his birth certificate, revving up an anti-Obama base that eventually helped put Trump in the White House.

Evidently, Trump may have been using the so-called birthers only as a means to an end.

His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is also a senior adviser to the president, allegedly told a former editor of the newspaper he once owned that the billionaire real-estate mogul didn’t believe his own “birtherism” claims, and only made them to charge up Republicans because they are “stupid,” GQ reported.

During a discussion on how to cover Trump, the former New York Observer editor, Elizabeth Spiers, claimed she told Kushner that she had serious problems with Trump’s repeated claims that Obama was not born in the U.S., to which Kushner allegedly told her: "He doesn't really believe it, Elizabeth. He just knows Republicans are stupid and they'll buy it." 

Spiers told her Kushner anecdote in response to a question from a conservative blogger on Facebook, and then screenshotted the response and put it up on Twitter.

From early 2011 to late 2012, Spiers served as the Observer’s editor-in-chief and as editorial director of Observer Media Group, according to her LinkedIn profile, and also helped found the since-vanished website Gawker in 2002. Kushner bought the newspaper for $10 million in 2006, and in November discontinued its print edition. Kushner stepped down as the paper’s publisher in January.

If Spiers’s story is true, Kushner once again finds himself at the heart of a troubling story. For the last several days, the 35-year-old’s contacts and meetings with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, and a Russian banker during the Trump campaign’s transition to the White House have come under the scrutiny of federal intelligence agencies. Kushner was supposedly attempting to set up a back-channel for communication directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, Kushner is reportedly not being directly investigated himself, and those close to him have said he’s likely to offer congressional testimony.

Trump is known to value loyalty and to protect his family members or anyone within his inner circle, and he has defended Kushner. On Tuesday morning, Trump retweeted a Fox News story posted by Fox & Friends that cited an unnamed source who said Kushner was not trying to set up a direct line to Putin.

The use of a story citing unnamed sources directly contradicted an earlier tweet-storm by the president, who said such stories were made up or “fake news.”

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