Jared Kushner: Master Statesman or Backroom Dealer?


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Since the UAE-Israel peace agreements in August, 2020 the United States has experienced a series of historical wins in the Middle East, including normalized relations between Israel, Bahrain, and Omanall of which strengthens Israel against Iran. A key factor in much of this has been Jared Kushner. 

Attacked by many who claimed he was too young and inexperienced, Kushner has created results that the experienced and aged before him failed to conjure up. The ending of the Qatar blockade on January 8, 2021, has brought back into the light accusations of a series of backroom dealings and supposed corruption that has led to foreign policy decisions on the behalf of the United States for the past four years. 

Jared Kushner’s involvement with middle eastern countries started nine years before he joined President Trump in the White House. Just before the financial crisis of 2008, The Kushner Company, headed by Jared and Charles Kushner, purchased the infamous 666 Fifth Avenue for a record $1.8 billion. The building quickly turned from the Kushner’s prized asset to their companies greatest sore. In June of 2008, facing serious issues paying debt on the building, Kushner Company sold a 49% stake in the building to Carley Group and Crown Acquisitions for $525 million. Two years after, in May of 2010, the Kushner companies debt was restructured and 666 Fifth Avenue was appraised at $820 million, which was less than the debt the Kushner’s owed for the building. In 2015, in an attempt to escape their growing debt, Jared and Charles Kushner entered into negotiations with Qatar for financing, but nothing came of the deal. 

In 2017, Charles Kushner met with Qatari Finance Minister, Sharif al-Emadi, to talk about investment in 666 Fifth Avenue. Initially, Charles Kushner denied that any negotiations took place, but later stated that the meeting happened but he only took it out of respect for Qatar. Sources later claimed that, during the meeting, Charles Kushner pitched the Qataris on the building and that was what the meeting was centered around. 

Merely weeks later, Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon met with representatives of the UAE and Saudi Arabia where they reportedly learned about the plan to form a blockade Qatar; a White House official later denied the meeting happened. On June 5, 2017 Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain ended relations with Qatar and formed the blockade, citing Qatar as founders of terrorism. 

The Secretary of State, Tillerson, and Secretary of Defense, Mattis, were both blindsided by the blockade according to testimony by Tillerson before Congress. Tillerson called for de-escalation of the situation, while Trump initially put out a contradictory statement showing support of the blockade. 

According to reports brought forward by the Intercept, Tillerson believed Trump’s official statement was written by UAE ambassador Yousel al-Otaiba. The intercept claims that the statement was delivered to Trump via Jared Kushner, who reportedly has a close relationship with the ambassador. 

In January of 2018, Qatar officials report that they have intelligence that proves Kushner colluded with Qatar’s Persian gulf neighbors in creating the blockade, but did not bring it forward because they reportedly didn’t want to hurt U.S.-Qatar relations, so the claims are unproven. Qatar initially claimed, after the blockade, that the United States support of the blockade was revenge for the Qatari’s not completing a deal for 666 Fifth Avenue. 

Four months later, in May of 2018, the Kushner Company entered into talks with Brookfield Asset Management, a investment group whose second largest investor is the Qatari Investment Authority. One month after, Jared Kushner went to Qatar and discussed U.S.-Qatar relations, along with various other topics with Qatari leadership. Two months later, on August 1 and August 3, two deals go down that lead many to suspect corruption. 

On August 1, Brookfield Asset Management acquired Westinghouse Electric Company, a company that works on sensitive nuclear technology. According to a House Committee whistleblower report, this sale was used to transport nuclear technology without congressional oversight to Persian Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia. Two days later, the same Brookfield Asset Management company bailed out the Kushner Company with a 99 year lease of 666 Fifth Avenue for $1.8 billion paid completely up front. The Qatari government claimed to have no involvement in the deal.  

Fast forward to 2020, the blockade of Qatar has finally ended. The failing 666 Fifth Avenue was bailed out, saving the Kushner’s from catastrophe. The claims of Jared Kushner’s backroom dealing are numerous, but made solely by sources who have not publicly come forward. The only fact that cannot be challenged is the tremendous success Jared Kushner has had in bringing peace deals to the Middle East. 

For the rest, it is up to each reader to study the claims made above and make your own conclusion. 

Matthew Porter is a junior at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA where he studies business administration with concentrations in finance, economics, and project management.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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About Matthew Porter

Matthew Porter is a junior at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA where he studies business administration with concentrations in finance, economics, and project management.

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