Facing massive debt and an ever closer deadline, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner appears to finally have found someone willing to invest in his 666 Fifth Avenue property. Kushner‘s family-owned company is facing an enormous mortgage over the 41-story office tower, and a soon-to-come-due $1.2 billion note threatened the future of the company. But now, after investors from around the world turned Kushner down, he has amazingly found a savior.
The New York Times reports that Canada-based investment company Brookfield Properties is on its way to being the proud controlling partner for a building that no one else seems to want. Which would seem like good timing for Kushner, though not otherwise particularly interesting, but for one thing: Bookfield’s money comes from the Qatar Investment Authority.
This isn’t the first time Qatar has appeared in this story. Jared’s father Charles Kushner—freshly returned from prison after pleading guilty to 18 counts of making illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering—claimed that he met with Qatar as a courtesy back in April 2017. The Kushner company stated they had already determined that it would not be “appropriate” for Kushner to take a loan backed by the Qatar government.
Instead, Kushner and Trump went almost immediately off to Saudi Arabia, where Kushner was joined by Donald Trump in supporting a near-coup that overturned the kingdom’s line of succession. The pair then gave the Saudis their long desired go-ahead to blockade their smaller neighbor—an action that Trump has since supported in numerous tweets and statements.
But since then, Kushner got a $184M loan backed by Qatar, and now Kushner is suddenly on the brink of getting a major investment from the tiny US ally, with a minor layer of paint over its origins. If that sounds to you like Kushner was turned down by Qatar, looked on Saudi ambitions as a way to punish the people who turned him down, then waited with one hand on his empty wallet for Qatar to ask for forgiveness, you’re not crazy. It looks that way to everyone.
The deal with Brookfield is likely to raise further concerns about Jared Kushner’s dual role as a White House point person on the Middle East and a continuing stake holder in the family’s company. Mr. Kushner earlier this year lost his top-secret security clearance amid concerns that foreign governments could attempt to gain influence with the White House by doing business with the Kushner Companies.
And this would seem to be a confirmation of that concern, for extremely high stakes.