Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner travels to Iraq

U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner (L) speaks with Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before departing for Iraq from Ramstein Air Base, Germany April 3, 2017. DoD/Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro/Handout via REUTERS
U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner (L) speaks with Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before departing for Iraq from Ramstein Air Base, Germany April 3, 2017. DoD/Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro/Handout via REUTERS

By Jim Acosta and Jeff Zeleny

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner landed in Iraq Monday, his first visit to the country since assuming a broad portfolio of foreign affairs in the Trump presidency.

Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, was invited by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, and is traveling with him, sources told CNN.
Capt. Greg Hicks, a spokesman for Dunford, said he is traveling on behalf of the President to express the President’s support and commitment to the government of Iraq and US personnel currently engaged in the campaign.
Kushner has been invited to meet with Iraqi leaders, senior US advisers and visit with US forces in the field to receive an update on counter-ISIS operations, Hicks said.
He is expected back in the United States early this week, a senior administration official told CNN.
The New York Times first reported Kushner’s trip.
Kushner is expected to have a major role in the meetings later this week between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

For Kushner, 36, it’s one of his most high-profile assignments yet in his new role in the government.

In addition to other duties across the administration, he has been tasked with the role of Middle East peace envoy. Married to Ivanka Trump, Kushner has emerged in the opening weeks of the Trump administration as one of the president’s closest confidantes.
Since taking office, Trump has spoken infrequently about Iraq or his policy there. His comments last week that the United States is “doing very well in Iraq,” which remains besieged by violence, drew particular notice and criticism.
The visit by Kushner comes after US military officials acknowledged that the United States was likely behind an airstrike that killed scores of Iraqi civilians in Mosul on March 17. The incident renewed concern about civilian deaths in the wake of the US-led air campaign against ISIS.