President Trump on Tuesday joked that his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has “become more famous than me” — a line he used on James Comey months before he fired him as FBI director.
Trump made the remark while greeting Republican congressional leaders and White House staff before a meeting on his legislative agenda.
“Jared has actually become much more famous than me — I’m a little upset at that,” Trump said, prompting the room to erupt in laughter.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) turned to Kushner and said, “That’s a badge of honor.” Kushner smiled but did not respond, according to a reporter in the room.
The comment came after Kushner appeared on the cover of last week’s edition of Time, which featured a story on his outsize yet behind-the-scenes role on Trump’s staff. Trump has bragged in the past about how many times he’s been the magazine’s cover story.
The last time Trump used the line, it didn’t end well for the person on the receiving end.
During a reception for law enforcement officials two days after his inauguration, Trump singled out Comey, saying, “He’s become more famous than me,” before calling him over for a handshake and hug.
The exchange made Comey uncomfortable because he was wary of the appearance of having too close a relationship with the president, according to his friend Benjamin Wittes.
Wittes told The New York Times that Comey, who was wearing a blue suit, stood next to blue curtains in the hope that Trump wouldn’t notice him.