The entanglements of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner just keep coming, and they all stink.
Earlier in the week, the Kushner mystique began to unravel, with the meat of it being intercepted foreign intelligence, where officials from 4 foreign nations – Mexico, Israel, China, and the United Arab Emirates – discussed Kushner’s desperation for funds to prop up his family business, and how they considered him to be easily manipulated, due to that fact.
There was also news that Kushner has asked to see more sensitive intelligence than anyone else in the White House.
Of course, now his security clearance has been bumped from “Top Secret” to “Secret,” and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has mused that the system for security clearances has not met his standards, but they’re now trying to rectify that situation.
So here’s another piece to mull over.
In April 2017, Kushner’s father, Charles, met with the minister of finance for Qatar, Ali Sharif Al Emadi, and requested financing to prop up a “critically distressed” property in the company’s portfolio – the 666 5th Avenue property.
There was a second meeting the following day. It apparently didn’t work out as well as they’d hoped, because no deal was made.
The failure to broker the deal would be followed only a month later by a Middle Eastern diplomatic row in which Jared Kushner provided critical support to Qatar’s neighbors. Led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a group of Middle Eastern countries, with Kushner’s backing, led a diplomatic assault that culminated in a blockade of Qatar. Kushner, according to reports at the time, subsequently undermined efforts by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to bring an end to the standoff.
On Friday afternoon, NBC News reported that in late January and early February, Qatari government officials visiting the U.S. “considered turning over to Mueller what they believe is evidence of efforts by their country’s Persian Gulf neighbors in coordination with Kushner to hurt their country.”
Kushner and father-in-law Trump visited Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in May of 2017. Soon after, Saudi Arabia and their allies moved against Qatar, causing a split between the Gulf Cooperation Council, and putting Qatar in line with Turkey and Iran.
Qatar happens to have the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East, by the way.
So did the unrest in the region last year have anything to do with a subtle “push” from a scorned Kushner?
That’s hard to say, but you can only get so many red flags and “curiosities” before you have to call out that particular gorilla in the room.
This was not the first time Charles Kushner solicited funds from the Qataris, but it is the first direct pitch known to be made to the minister of finance himself. Notably, the play came after Trump’s election. The Intercept first reported last summer that Charles Kushner had also propositioned Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al Thani, a prominent businessman who previously served as the country’s foreign minister and prime minister. The deal proffered by HBJ, as he is known, was worth $500 million but ultimately fell through when Kushner Companies failed to secure other outside capital. That 2017 effort followed previous entreaties made in the region by Jared Kushner himself.
Kushner has divested from a small portion of Kushner Companies, but has retained substantial ownership. A balloon payment due in 2018 on the badly underwater property at 666 Fifth Avenue has been a ticking clock on the fortunes of the Kushner family, precipitating the global hunt for capital. The Washington Post reported earlier this year that the father-son pair, Jared and Charles Kushner, speak on a daily basis.
The New York Times reported last month that just prior to Jared Kushner’s visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia in May 2017, his family real estate company “received a roughly $30 million investment from Menora Mivtachim,” described as one of Israel’s largest financial institutions.
People in desperate situations will resort to desperate measures to get their needs met, and there’s nothing about this that doesn’t seem suspicious.
Who wants to start the pool as to when Kushner will step down and why?