In December 2016, Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential transition, was busy helping shape the new administration. But Trump’s son-in-law also had another pressing concern: finding a wealthy investor to buy into a Manhattan commercial building owned by his family’s company that was facing down a $1.2 billion debt.
Meetings that Kushner had that month with a Chinese insurance company and a Russian banker — as well as the company’s efforts to get funding from a Qatari source — are coming under new scrutiny after The Washington Post revealed that foreign government officials viewed him as a figure who might be manipulated due to the family company’s financial needs and his lack of experience.
Kushner divested his interest in 666 Fifth Avenue when he assumed his White House role as senior adviser, and his spokesman, Joshua Raffel, has said Kushner “would never compromise himself or the administration.”
But Kushner’s talks with foreign officials as the company continued searching for financial backing have raised questions. Foreign intercepts showed that four countries — the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico — viewed Kushner as a White House official who might be easily influenced because of the debt, The Post reported this week.