President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner made it onto Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in 2017. His write-up from former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, however, was less than enthusiastic.
"Transitioning the presidency between parties is one of the most complex undertakings in American politics. The change triggers an upheaval in the intangible mechanisms by which Washington runs: an incoming President is likely to be less familiar with formal structures, and the greater that gap, the heavier the responsibility of those advisers who are asked to fill it.
This space has been traversed for nearly four months by Jared Kushner, whom I first met about 18 months ago, when he introduced himself after a foreign policy lecture I had given. We have sporadically exchanged views since. As part of the Trump family, Jared is familiar with the intangibles of the President. As a graduate of Harvard and NYU, he has a broad education; as a businessman, a knowledge of the administration. All this should help him make a success of his daunting role flying close to the sun."
The ambiguous two paragraphs were immediately skewered by readers and on social media, for whom it rang conspicuously hollow. Many called it a "non-endorsement," while some Twitter users compared it to a professor writing a recommendation letter for a student they didn't care for. Another user called it "just two pointless, empty paragraphs."
At least one spoof of the letter emerged, written by Twitter user Jason O. Gilbert.
"There is no question that Jared Kushner is a human man, who owns at least three suits and has probably never stolen a car," Gilbert wrote. "I think I saw him give an interview once, and he did not projective-vomit once."
Ivanka Trump, Kushner's wife and daughter of the president, also made it on the Time 100 list, albeit with far more personal praise from Wendi Murdoch, producer and ex-wife of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.
"I am deeply impressed by her courage to leave behind life as she knew it and move her young family to Washington to pursue positive change," she wrote.