WASHINGTON — When President Trump complained that the $1.3 trillion spending bill he grudgingly signed on Friday did not pay for his border wall, he kept alive an issue that has poisoned relations between the United States and Mexico from the day he took office.
And yet, for Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, it was a small step in the right direction.
Mr. Trump did not repeat his demand that Mexico must pay for the wall. Mr. Kushner, people who work with him say, has asked the president to refrain from using that line. He also lobbied Mr. Trump to exempt the country from new steel and aluminum tariffs, and to renegotiate, rather than rip up, the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The well-meaning interventions of Mr. Kushner and his wife, Ivanka, with Mr. Trump are a familiar — and to some critics, overblown — theme of this administration. Their influence has been questioned ever since Mr. Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord last year over their objections.