The novel “Breaking History: A White House Memoir,” written by former president Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top advisor Jared Kushner, is scheduled to be published on August 23.
In his memoir, Kushner describes having to have surgery to remove a thyroid cancerous tumor from his throat.
During the four years that former President Trump was in office, Kushner and his wife Ivanka served as unpaid advisers, and he had a significant impact on discussions about domestic policy, hiring choices, and even foreign policy.
Notably, Kushner assisted in negotiating the USMCA trade pact in 2018 and guided the White House’s response to the coronavirus in 2020, which included the timely production of vaccinations.
Kushner oversaw efforts to mediate diplomatic ties between Israel and four Arab nations in the last months of Trump’s administration, helping the government greatly.
Kushner, now 41, made an effort to suppress his condition from family and coworkers while avoiding making news about it.
Kushner claimed that he discovered he probably had cancer in October 2019 while participating in trade negotiations with China that ultimately led to a “phase one” agreement to renounce tariffs. Kushner was a key figure in many of the Trump administration’s most successful projects.
As the trade negotiations with China moved forward, Kushner said, “I had to face an unanticipated and frightening personal crisis.”
Sean Conley, the White House doctor, called me into the medical cabin on Air Force One the morning I left for Texas to attend the opening of a Louis Vuitton factory. He said, “Your test results are back from Walter Reed. It looks like you have cancer. We need to schedule a surgery right away.’”
According to Kushner, he thought about the best course of action for his predicament.
“The next morning, I told Ivanka what I knew. With as much confidence as I could conjure, I told her not to be concerned. Whatever this was, we would find a way to work through it. She joined me for the meeting with Dr. Conley, as did [West Wing aide] Avi Berkowitz,”Kushner stated.
“Dr. Thomas Fahey of New York-Presbyterian Hospital concluded that I needed surgery to remove an unusual growth in my thyroid, and we scheduled the operation for the Friday before Thanksgiving. That way, I would miss the least amount of time in the office. My absence might even go unnoticed. That’s how I wanted it.”
Then, Kushner thought back on his life and his family while pondering how to reconcile work and family.
“Every night, before I went to bed, I lingered for a few extra moments in my children’s rooms. I watched them sleep without a care in the world. I felt guilty that I had been so distracted and absent over the previous few years,” Kushner wrote.
Kushner gained some perspective as a father through reflection during the situation.
“I was always at work or taking phone calls when they wanted to spend time with their dad. I missed plays and sporting events. I had promised myself that when my service in the White House ended, I’d make up for lost time. Now I was forced to confront that possibility that my time might be up. I prayed that the surgery would be successful.”
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
Kushner also wanted to keep his medical issue low profile, and only told the necessary persons at the time.
Kushner wrote that “[w]ith the exception of Ivanka, Avi, Cassidy [Luna], and [then-White House acting chief of staff Mick] Mulvaney, I didn’t tell anyone at the White House—including the president.”