New book details First Family dynamic

ON SHELVES TODAY — Vanity Fair journalist Emily Jane Fox’s new book titled Born Trump: Inside America’s First FamilyA few notable highlights below…

HISTORIC CANDLE LIGHTING AT THE WHITE HOUSE — On Inauguration weekend, Ivanka Trump arranged with White House staff to have candlesticks waiting for her in the Lincoln bedroom. “Usually she would have brought her own, as she typically did for a weekend away, but she figured the White House must have suitable candelabras lying around. She was correct. The immediate family of five formed a semicircle around the White House’s candlesticks, and Ivanka struck a match to light the wicks… Ivanka covered her eyes and recited the blessing over the candles… It was the first time Shabbat has been welcomed this way in the history of the residence.” [Page 2]

FRIDAY NIGHT BALLS — “That evening, since it was Shabbat, the Secret Service had to work with the couple to develop a special security plan. Traditionally, those observing the Sabbath do not travel in cars… but that would have meant they would not be able to attend any of Friday’s balls or the events on the following day — which for a couple who wanted to be part of everything, was not an option. Walking was out of the question; their detail told them it was not safe, given the vitriol and the protests. So they asked special permission from their rabbi to break the rules of Shabbat, since it was a matter of safety, and what they argued was a once-in-a-lifetime familial opportunity.” [Page 16]

THE KUSHNER AND CHRISTIE FEUD — “The first conversation between Jared and [Chris] Christie about the transition role was not a walk in the park… Christie was skeptical. Just how past it could a guy who carried the wallet his dad made him while he was in prison really be? Christie himself had not totally put it behind him, particularly months later, long after Jared had a hand in firing him from his role, and reports of Jared’s meetings with Russian officials and involvement in the firing of FBI Director James Comey caught the attention of investigations in the Robert Mueller probe. “Good thing I saved his father’s prison number,” Christie would joke with friends.”

CHAPTER 7 IS TITLED ‘BASHERT’ — “It’s Bashert.” “They’re bashert.” “Bashert.” Their friends and colleagues and associates separately repeated the same Hebrew word when asked why Ivanka and Jared Kushner settle into one another. The world roughly translated into something being preordained, fated, inevitable, and in the case of a romantic match, a soul mate… They are blindly loyal to their families and hell-bent on expanding their empires.”

THE CONVERSION — “Ivanka agreed to convert, though she claimed that she didn’t have that far to go: “I’m a New Yorker. I’m in real estate. I’m as close to Jewish with an ‘i-s-h’ naturally as anyone can start off.” [Page 223]

VIEW FROM THE YESHIVA LEAGUE — “Some people in the Trump-Kushners’ community — KJ members, Ramaz parents, people who went to the modern Orthodox yeshiva school that Jared attended in Paramus, New Jersey – thought it was a BFD to have one of their own become a BFD. On Saturday mornings throughout the campaign, as the rabbis spoke or cantors chanted, congregants would whisper that it was somewhat of a comfort to have him in the candidate’s ear… Many agreed, however, that if they had their druthers, and it was up to them to choose a guy in their community who would be the one so close to and advising a U.S. presidential candidate, Jared would not have ranked high on their list.”

“In terms of his relationship with Jewish community leaders beyond his own New York, New Jersey bubble, many influential members corresponded with Kushner often, voicing their concerns and urging him to push certain policy positions… Jewish organizations could tell that Kushner was overwhelmed and overworked… so Jared frequently relied on feedback and input from these organizations, though it was clear he barely had time to do so. “He’d reply to emails with letters instead of words, always very short, almost like he was running around on a Blackberry with one hand tied,” one Zionist organization leader recalled.” [Page 53]

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