Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner raised eyebrows Tuesday by suggesting that there was uncertainty about whether the presidential election would happen in November as scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic and that he had some role in making that determination.
Hours after his remarks to Time magazine generated a strong reaction on social media, Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, issued a clarification, saying he was unaware of and not involved in any “discussions” about changing the date of the 2020 election. Neither Trump nor Kushner as his adviser has any legal authority to change the timing of the presidential election.
The brief and disconcerting episode raised doubts about Kushner’s familiarity with the laws and constitutional provisions governing U.S. presidential elections. As the Congressional Research Service says, “The text of the Constitution does not appear to contain a constitutional role for the Executive Branch in such decisions.”