China, Israel, Mexico and the UAE reportedly schemed to manipulate Jared Kushner via business ties

It’s complicated.
It’s complicated.
Image: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
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Jared Kushner has been unable to obtain a permanent security clearance in part because he arranged meetings with officials from foreign countries in unorthodox ways, according to the Washington Post (paywall). Those officials have reportedly discussed “manipulating” president Trump’s son-in-law through his business interests, troubled finances, and inexperience in foreign affairs.

Those countries are:

  • The United Arab Emirates
  • Mexico
  • China
  • Israel

It’s a tricky selection of countries for a man originally entrusted with spearheading the Middle East peace process, and handling high-level relations with Mexico and China. After John Kelly took over as chief of staff in July 2017, those responsibilities diminished significantly (paywall); Kelly is widely believed to be behind the downgrading of Kushner’s security clearance.

Kushner ran his family’s real estate empire until 2016. During the 2008 financial crisis, he plunged the firm into debt for a skyscraper that he bought for a record-setting $1.8 billion—only to see its value drop the next year. With a $1.2 billion loan due in Feb. 2019, the family is desperately trying to drum up foreign investment in the property, raising the eyebrows of ethics watchdogs and some in the White House.

During his time as Trump’s top advisor, Kushner raised alarm bells by privately meeting with the chairman of Anbang, a Chinese financial giant with close government ties, in a reportedly vain attempt (paywall) to fund the property in 2016. He also spent two years trying to seal a $500 million deal with a former Qatari prime minister, with talks falling through in March 2017. Later that year, Kushner’s sister Nicole Meyer was discovered pitching (paywall) a development in New Jersey to Chinese investors by advertising her ties to Jared and the White House.

Read the Washington Post exclusive (paywall) in full.

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