Lustre fades for Trump’s daughter Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner

Lustre fades for Trump’s daughter Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner, by Toby Harden.

They arrived in Washington as the American capital’s latest golden couple — the new president’s closest confidants, glamorous scions of wealthy New York families who could move effortlessly between boardrooms and parties thrown by the moneyed elites of Manhattan.

With Democratic backgrounds, Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, 35, and her husband, Jared Kushner, 36, were seen as potentially moderating influences on the incoming commander-in-chief, distancing him from the angry populism of the election campaign.

Despite their lack of government experience the couple, nicknamed “Javanka”, wielded unrivalled influence in a White House where familial ties are a powerful advantage with a president whose suspicion of his own aides sometimes borders on paranoia.

Yet when Mr Trump declared last week that he was pulling America out of the Paris climate accord, his daughter and her husband — who had lobbied to keep the country in the agreement — were conspicuous by their absence from the Rose Garden.

Mr Trump’s decision was a victory for Steve Bannon, his chief strategist and a hard line economic nationalist, and a defeat for Mr Kushner, Ivanka — who had arranged for the environmentalist and former vice-president Al Gore to meet her father last year — and Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state. …

Mr Kushner is the son of Charles Kushner, a multi-millionaire property magnate and philanthropist jailed for two years in 2005 after pleading guilty to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations.

Angry that his sister Esther was a co-operating witness against him, Charles Kushner hired a prostitute to seduce her husband, paid private investigators to film the liaison and sent the videotape and photographs to his sibling.

Jared Kushner, then 24, flew to Alabama to visit his father in prison almost every weekend for a year.