Intercept reporter Ryan Grim told MSNBC on Sunday that the one thing he uncovered speaking to the Qataris about Jared Kushner was that if they knew Kushner would guarantee that they were punished by a years-long blockade that they would have bought Kushner's property a lot sooner.
Kushner Companies negotiated a bailout deal for 666 Fifth Avenue with the Qatari sovereign wealth fund. The moment came months after the Qatari government officials were staying in the Trump hotel in Washington on the same date as Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who had a home in Washington at the time.
The House announced it would approach an investigation into Kushner and the Qatari purchase as well as Kushner's billion-dollar investments he's been able to scoop up from countries he was conducting foreign policy with during his father-in-law's administration. It comes amid the House Republicans pledging that they'll come after President Joe Biden's son, who does not work in the White House and does not conduct foreign policy on behalf of the Biden administration.
Speaking to MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan, the biographer of Kushner Inc., explained that the two can't be compared as remotely similar because Kushner is profiting off of his "work" he did at taxpayer expense and the relationships he built at taxpayer expense.
"It's very, very serious that, as you said, it doesn't have the sex appeal of Hunter Biden, and the missing laptop, nude photos," said Vicky Ward. "It does not have that, as you very well demonstrated, it's a complicated story. But that does not mean it isn't a very, very serious investigation. If there were such a conflict of interest, if he did conduct foreign policy in the Middle East, particularly switching sides on that blockade of Qatar by the Saudis, basically to bail out his family business, that is a criminal offense. You know, the optics of all of this were always there. My book, Kushner, Inc., does, as you say, show Kushner's financial problems as this ticking time bomb."
She went on to say that she wrote the chapters in parallel and noted that the bomb was the loan coming due and what Kushner would do now that he was working for the new president, couldn't get a security clearance, and desperately needed to unload the property. All the while, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was furious that Kushner was conducting foreign policy behind his back.
"He's not just conducting foreign policy because he disagrees with Tillerson," Hasan said. "He's doing it allegedly for financial gain!"
He went on to mention the $2 billion that Kushner scored from the Saudis against the financial advice of all of the Saudi investment fund. The Saudi crown prince himself signed off on handing Kushner the money.
Grim cited previous reports of those looking at Kushner's prospectus of the wealth fund that was sent to Mohammed bin Salman and called it "laughable."
"All it was was a chart of their connections Kushner had made during his White House days," described Grim. "There was no sense of how it was going actually to make any returns. MBS overruled everybody else and just gave them two billion dollars for this fund that he started right after he left.
Hasan said that he's no fan of Hunter Biden and said that he thinks the president's son has profited off of his name, but that he hasn't done anything illegal, while Kushner has.
"When you put Hunter Biden in Burisma, Ukraine, next to Jared Kushner and Saudi Arabia, and China, and Japan, how do they stack up side by side, political scandal-wise?" Hasan asked.
"There is no comparison," said Ward. "Jared Kushner was the senior official in the White House. Hunter Biden is not in the White House. Jared Kushner was, as you say, running everything, but particularly foreign policy. And that's what makes this really just on a different scale. And to Ryan's point, one of the things that is so interesting about this wrapped-up investigation from Congress, the smoking gun is really the timing of the emails. Jared Kushner was talking, it emerges, in emails that Congress now has, in April 2016 with Brookfield, this firm that has the Qataris so majorly in it. That was long before he went anywhere near the White House. So why did the Qatari, why did Brookfield not want to do that deal then? If it had made great economic sense then, that would've been the moment to do it."
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