White House senior adviser Jared Kushner traveled to Iraq this weekend and is expected back in the United States early this week, a senior administration official told CNN.
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.
A senior administration official declined to say Sunday evening what was on Kushner’s itinerary in Iraq, his first visit to the country since assuming a broad portfolio of foreign affairs in the Trump presidency.
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 U.S. 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 U.S.-led air campaign against ISIS.