The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico wasn’t invited to the meetings that were between President Donald Trump’s son-in-law as well as senior adviser Jared Kushner and top Mexican officials.
The New York Times reported that a senior U.S. official said that Kushner did not invite Ambassador Roberta Jacobson to meetings with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray.
Jacobson, one of the State Department’s top Latin American experts last week announced that she is resigning her post in May after serving in the U.S. government for 31 years. Christopher Sabatini, a lecturer on international relations at Columbia University in an interview with the Times said that Kushner’s meeting was “not the way foreign policy normally is or should be, conducted.”
“The sending of the president’s son-in-law — someone with no experience in Mexican-U.S. relations — is another example of the de-professionalization and personalization of diplomacy that will hurt U.S. interests and leverage in the region,” he said.
Kushner’s trip was announced Wednesday just before his departure. The White House said that Kushner is set to discuss immigration, trade, and security with the two Mexican leaders.
A Mexican official reported last week that President Donald Trump in a phone call with Pena Nieto become frustrated and “lost his temper,” after which the Mexican president canceled his plans for an official visit to Washington.
The trip also comes after Kushner lost his interim top secret security clearance as result of the White House chief of staff John Kelly’s new policy of how temporary security clearances are given. After Kushner’s security clearance downgraded, Kelly in a statement said that the president’s son-in-law was “integral” to the diplomatic relationship between the White House and Mexico.
“Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the president’s agenda,” Kelly added at the time.