Trump Says Son-in-Law Jared Kushner Could Be a 'Liberal,' Applauds Him for Criminal Justice Reform Work

President Donald Trump applauded his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, for pushing him on criminal justice reform and noted that he "could be a liberal."

On Friday, Trump delivered the keynote address at the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center's Second Step Presidential Justice Forum in Columbia, South Carolina. During his remarks, the president singled out a number of legislators, activists and leaders that fought to ensure the First Step Act—which he signed in December—became law.

One of those people Trump pointed out was his son-in-law, who worked "tirelessly" to get the First Step Act passed.

"I think I was telling [Senator] Tim [Scott] before and I pulled [Senator] Lindsey [Graham] aside and I said, 'You know, I think he's a liberal. He could be a liberal,'" Trump said.

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The First Step Act gives judges more freedom during sentencing, provides rehabilitative programs to inmates, and enables certain inmates to be given sentencing relief.

Kushner, Trump claimed repeatedly, hounded him about getting the First Step Act signed into law. Kushner's persistence, according to Trump, was to the point that he agreed on the condition Kushner would leave him alone.

"And we got it done, right Jared? We called a couple of folks that people didn't think would come along and they were incredible once they understood what we were doing," Trump told the crowd.

jared kushner donald trump criminal justice reform
Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner attends a signing ceremony where President Donald Trump signs a proclamation on the Golan Heights in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 25. On Friday, Trump credited Kushner for working hard to get the First Step Act signed into law during a speech about criminal justice reform in Columbia, South Carolina. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty

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Kushner was credited with being the driving force behind the piece of criminal justice reform. CNN reported the bill's supporters said he worked behind the scenes to bring together the Trump administration and legislators on both sides of the aisle.

In April, Kushner penned a piece for Time, during which he called standing next to the president when the First Step Act was signed one of the "proudest moments" of his life. For Kushner, the topic wasn't political—it was personal.

"Over the course of 12 years, I had gone from the son of someone who was in federal prison to sitting in an office next to the President. This topic was too important to me not to give it attention," Kushner wrote.

While Kushner was a student at Harvard University, his father Charles, a real estate developer, pleaded guilty to 18 counts of making illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering. The younger Kushner repeatedly claimed Charles, who was sentenced to two years in prison, was unfairly prosecuted.

Charles Kushner was released in 2006 and more than a decade later, his son played a pivotal role in helping incarcerated people be reunited with their families through the legislation.

During his speech, Trump said he was uncertain if signing the bipartisan bill was the popular or unpopular action to take, but added that he knew it was the "right thing to do."

Trump Says Son-in-Law Jared Kushner Could Be a 'Liberal,' Applauds Him for Criminal Justice Reform Work | U.S.