Kushner attends fundraiser for Freedom Caucus chair

Story highlights

  • Kushner flew to Asheville at the last minute
  • Meadows and Trump talk regularly, and their alliance could be crucial to securing funding for Trump's planned border wall

(CNN)Jared Kushner flew to North Carolina on Thursday for a fundraiser for House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows -- and President Donald Trump called in, as well, to praise Meadows.

The show of support from the White House to a key conservative leader comes with Congress set to return from its August recess, with legislative battles over Hurricane Harvey relief funds, a debt ceiling increase and government funding all looming in September.
Kushner, the President's son-in-law and one of his top advisers, flew to the Asheville fundraiser at the last minute, a source who attended the event said. His attendance was first reported by Politico.
    Trump's praise for Meadows is a drastic departure from late March, when House Republicans' first effort to pass an Obamacare repeal bill failed in part because leadership couldn't reconcile the party's most conservative and moderate elements.
    Trump fumed on Twitter. "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!" he tweeted.
    But Meadows stood beside Trump at a celebratory Rose Garden event in May when the House finally passed its health care bill -- which never cleared the Senate.
    Meadows and Trump talk regularly, and their alliance could be crucial to securing funding for Trump's planned border wall. Meadows, though, told ABC this week that he'd back a three-month spending bill to avert a government shutdown at the end of September, even without border wall funding -- potentially pushing an intra-party clash over the issue back until December.