Kushner Companies Busted Taking Loans After Private Meetings Held At White House

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The president and his closest associates came into power with essentially no relevant experience in public service. Instead, Donald Trump, along with some of his closest associates and advisers like son-in-law Jared Kushner, have experience in private business, particularly in shady real estate operations. Kushner’s family business, for instance, has been hit with intense scrutiny over its questionably legal efforts to bilk tenants out of sizable sums of cash at properties in the northeastern United States.

The issue of the president and his allies having considerable private business interests doesn’t end with the fact that it remains a question whether or not they know what they’re even doing in positions of power. In addition to that, they’ve still got their connections to the private business world; the president, for instance, still has a financial stake in his businesses, and while Kushner was pressured to resign from leading his businesses thanks to ethics obligations, he still maintains his ties to the business world through, at the very least, his family.

Now, The New York Times has a striking new report about a way that this issue has reared its head during the just over a year that Donald Trump has been in power. According to the publication, around the time that the heads of two major firms met with Kushner, who serves as an unpaid adviser to his father-in-law, the companies headed by those men dished out massive loans to the Kushner family real estate operation.

In November, for instance, Apollo Global Management lent a whopping $184 million to Kushner Companies, a loan that was among the largest received by Kushner Companies during the year and came after Joshua Harris, one of the leaders of the firm, spent some time with Kushner discussing infrastructure policy. The loan was meant to help Kushner Companies refinance the mortgage on a building in Chicago.

In addition to that loan, after Kushner met with Citigroup head Michael Corbat last year, that man’s company lent Kushner Companies a whopping $325 million for the purpose of refinancing buildings in Brooklyn.

A spokesman for Kushner’s lawyer Abbe Lowell insisted that Kushner has taken no direct part in the financial activities of his family business since taking up his position in the White House, although he does, in the description of The Times, remain “heavily invested” in the enterprise.

Likewise, spokespeople for both Citigroup and Apollo both unsurprisingly insisted that the loan granting process followed standard protocol.

Kushner has not exactly had it going well for him recently, having finally, after months of questions about why he had the clearance in the first place, lost his top secret security clearance. He’s struggled to pass the FBI’s background check, having had to amend his relevant forms time and time again.

In addition, the companies making the loans to Kushner Companies themselves have had big stakes in the goings-on of Washington, D.C., under the Trump administration. The Times reports that Apollo, for instance, has “sought ways to benefit” from the White House’s half-baked infrastructure plan.

Concurrently, Citigroup executives stood to benefit from the massive tax system overhaul signed into law by President Trump late last year.

Kushner is far from alone in facing scrutiny along these lines. The president himself, because of maintaining a financial stake in his businesses, has faced similar questions of possible conflicts of interest.

One of the focal points of the debate over Trump’s conflicts of interest has been his D.C. hotel, which stands to be used by political and social interests trying to gain favor with him.

Featured Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images