Pulling the plug?
Sneed hears rumbles Jared Kushner, husband of President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, may be this/close to pulling the plug on his White House career.
A top source familiar with the workings of the White House claims Kushner’s move would be prompted by the erosion of his influence because of “the beacon pointed at his neck” stemming from the Russian probe conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“This leaves Kushner in a less valued position and a diminished one,” said the source, “and he knows that. He’s smart. No power. No play. No reason to stay.”
• Backshot: During Trump’s presidential campaign, “nothing was approved without Jared and Ivanka’s green light,” former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski once told Sneed.
• Buckshot: Kushner is rumored to be considering exiting his major White House roles sometime during the holiday season.
• Upshot: Trump is still this/close to his beloved daughter, Ivanka, and respects his son-in law. The big question is what kind of a presence would the couple continue to maintain in Washington? Or would they re-establish their main residence in New York?
Lee’s way: Filmmaker Spike Lee was the fella who helped purchase the 800 turkeys given away Saturday at St. Sabina Church.
Bark ’em . . .
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who continues to travel at the speed of light, was presented with a special 2017 holiday gift from the entire City Council on Wednesday afternoon by Ald. Edward Burke: a guard dog!
• Translation: Chipping in holiday cash, the aldermen gifted hizzoner with a a K-9 sculpture called “Paws Chicago” created by kids from the After School Matters program in honor of the memory of two fallen Chicago Police Department heroes.
“I think I will keep it outside my City Hall office,” chuckled Emanuel, who told Sneed his family always had German Shepherd dogs.
“And besides, it’s really nice to have a dog that doesn’t bark!”
‘Tis the season!
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, a tough cookie who was forced to put the lid on the pop tax this year, has been known to go fishing in her beloved Minnesota to relax.
However, Sneed is told Preckwinkle has a holiday plan to relax, recharge and reset this year.
• Visit holiday-themed sales and bazaars.
• See a lot of movies.
• Spend uninterrupted time with her children and grandchildren.
• Ostensibly, not go near a can of pop.
He wasn’t there!
Sadly, it seemed the end of an era when former Gov. Jim Thompson was a no-show at the annual Winston & Strawn law firm holiday party at the Drake Hotel, where Big Jim held sway for decades standing for hours while a roomful of people lined up to greet him.
• The upshot: A white T-shirt emblazoned with his name was held up by his former aides.
• It was powerhouse legal eagle Dan Webb, a close Thompson pal, who was now out front at the party staircase — where hundreds of pals, pols and the press hit the bash each year. “Jim felt maneuvering the staircase would be too difficult now,” said a friend.
Sneedlings . . .
Ho! Ho! Ho! In the shadow of the Trump Tower, Marina Cartage owner Mike Tadin tossed his annual Xmas party at Benny’s Chop House on Thursday, attended by former aldermanic powerhouse Ed Vrdolyak and City Council Dean Ald. Edward Burke, who were once known as “The Two Eddies” during the Council Wars era. Also in attendance: former 11th Ward alderman Pat Huels and his Bridgeport successor Ald. Pat Thompson, former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew. . . . Yipes! William Blair’s extraordinaire Tom Lanctot is happily joining the ranks of the actively retired at the end of the month. Well, for one thing, he’ll now have more time to spend with our good buddy, Jay Doherty. . . . Congrats to Hyatt Regency Chicago General Manager Patrick Donelly on being named Hotelier of the Year by the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association. . . . Today’s birthdays: Adam Brody, 38; Jahlil Okafor, 22; and Tim Conway, 84.