(Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

No one burns the elite quite like Vanity Fair, and Sarah Ellison’s recent profile of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump is a perfect example. The duo come off as bratty and inept, not just powerless to make an impact on their presidential patriarch, but fundamentally incompetent to do much at all. Ellison reveals that Ivanka’s big idea for how to save Planned Parenthood was to suggest the organization stop providing abortions. Another notable anecdote involves Reince Preibus asking Kushner what he and his best friend Reed Cordish, who Kushner employs at the White House seemingly just to keep him company, are up to work-wise. Kushner snaps, “Reince, we aren’t getting paid. What the fuck do you care?” (Honestly, did you ever expect you’d be Team Reince in any fight, ever?)

Here are some of the best burns, in no particular order.

Trump tried to reward Ivanka, his favorite child, with a small perk.

The “perk” for his daughter, a 35-year-old woman with two children, is sitting at a table between with world leaders conducting world leader business. Do go on:

“When a conference aide tweeted a photo of Ivanka at the table, Twitter reacted with disdain at the clear nepotism, a response Ivanka must be getting used to. “This is strange,” noted Michael McFaul, the U.S. ambassador to Russia under Barack Obama. “Very strange.” Even among some Trump loyalists, the breach of protocol was too much. “Excuse me,” said one former Trump adviser. “This is not a royal family, and she’s not the princess royal.” (In fact, “princess royal” is a term that some West Wing advisers apply to her, though never to her face.)”

Proof that literally no one in the West Wing is making eye contact with each other.

“Laura Terrell, a partner at the multi-national law firm DLA Piper, worked in the George W. Bush White House, where she was responsible for assisting high-level officials with security-clearance forms. She told me that it was “unusual” for someone in a senior White House job to have had three updates to his or her security clearance, adding that she could not recall another case in which it had occurred.”

“Unusual,” here is Vanity Fair for “total bullshit.”

“In recent conversations, I’ve heard people close to President Trump wonder aloud whether it was Kushner’s team that leaked the Don junior e-mails to the Times in the first place.

Good thing we’ve already established who Dad’s favorite child is.

Inside the Trump White House, where advisers are regularly subjected to ritualistic debasement or worse at the president’s hands.

RITUALISTIC DEBASEMENT. OR WORSE. Can you even fathom what is “worse” than “ritualistic debasement”? I cannot.

Ivanka has been known to tell her six-year-old daughter, Arabella, “for every problem, there is a solution.”

The only other writing on this family this good is Luke Mazur’s fan fiction over at The Awl.

As a former West Wing staffer from a previous administration told me, speaking about Jared and Ivanka, ‘There’s nothing more obstructive and distracting and unhelpful than to have a bunch of stupid apolitical family members calling all the shots.”

Go on.

A former associate said of the couple, “She was always the one with the personality, the one with a much stronger presence. He was a pretty quiet, soft-spoken, nice guy, and there was a certain formless quality to him.”

Jared Kushner is Flat Stanley personified. His Secret Service name could be Blank Space.

When they lived in New York, Kushner used to remind Ivanka that “we’re in the zoo, but let’s try hard not to be part of the animals.” He often would add, “You want to be watching.”


“They were terrible,” one [party] attendee told me. The couple kept to platitudes and pabulum, as they often do in public conversations.

“Pabulum” is Vanity Fair for “extremely dull and worthless party guest,” possibly the most egregious thing anyone can be in the eyes of Graydon Carter.

But if her main value in Washington is her access to her father and she is unable to sway him, then she is simply a 35-year-old former real-estate and retail executive in over her head.

Has a fact ever sounded so cutting?

“What is off-putting about them is they do not grasp their essential irrelevance,” this veteran told me. ‘They think they are special.’”

This veteran is the meanest mean girl on the block and I am here for it.

One West Wing aide noted to me that it isn’t that they leave when bad things happen; it’s just that bad things are always happening.

A person who works in the West Wing thought it would be helpful to point out that bad things are always happening since Trump became president. Thank you, public servant.

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