Donald Trump is reportedly trying to get rid of his favourite daughter Ivanka and his trusted son-in-law Jared Kushner. The U.S. president wants both to leave the White House, and he’s getting the help –privately – from chief of staff John F. Kelly. Playing good-cop-bad-cop roles, obviously Trump wants Kelly to be the bad cop doing the dirty job in the drama.
If the report from New York Times is true, Mr. Trump is doing what he should have done ages ago. Javanka – Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump – never should have come to the White House in the first place, as Trump has been grumbling at times. Although it’s true that Ivanka and Jared were two of a handful individuals Trump can trust in the White House, they also bring along troubles.
As President Donald Trump is under microscopic scrutiny over Russiagate, the last thing he needs is new scandals. Not only his political interests are under investigation, Trump family’s web of business is also under liberal mainstream news media surveillance. While Donald Trump can be considered clean, the same cannot be said about his daughter and son-in-law.
Between Jared and Ivanka, the Kushner appears to be more toxic and could bring home unnecessary embarrassing scandals. Kushner’s relations with foreign government officials and his family’s tainted business deals should have had raised “red flag” that he cannot be allowed to roam the White House, let alone appointed as senior adviser to the most powerful man on planet Earth.
Hence, when Kushner’s “Top Secret” security clearance was recently downgraded for no apparent reason, it raises eyebrows whether the son-in-law is game over. If there’s one person who had involved in collusion with the Russians, that person has to be Jared Kushner, not Donald Trump. His fingerprints are all over the place especially the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians.
But the real risk of keeping Kushner in the White House isn’t the Russiagate investigation but rather the new financial scandals that he could bring to the desk of POTUS. The Kushner family business is already heavily tainted, both before and after Jared married Ivanka in October 2009 – from money laundering to misuse of family relationship to raise money for business.
His father – Charles Kushner – was convicted in 2005 of witness tampering, illegal campaign contributions and tax evasion. Amazingly, after released from prison, his father is back running the Kushner property empire, more ambitious than ever, along with 2 fellow inmates – Avram Lebor and Richard Goettlich – whom had previously scammed money using Ponzi scheme.
In May 2017, while Nicole Kushner Meyer was seeking more than US$150 million in investment for a luxury apartment complex known as “One Journal Square”, the sister of Jared Kushner was exposed of urging wealthy Chinese investors to sink millions into the New Jersey real estate project, with sweetener of U.S. residency through EB-5 visa program thrown in. The Kushner later apologised.
The financial hanky-panky practice didn’t stop there. This week alone, Kushner’s family real-estate business – Kushner Companies – was exposed of having received hefty loans from Citigroup and private equity group Apollo Global Management last year. Thanks to Jared Kushner, Apollo and Citigroup extended US$184 million and US$325 million of loan respectively.
Eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that Kushner met with Apollo founder Joshua Harris in the White House multiple times last year, and even discussed the possibility of a White House job for Harris. Although Apollo insisted that Mr. Harris wasn’t involved in the company’s decision to extend the Chicago loan to the Kushner Companies, not many are convinced.
There’s one glaring reason why Jared Kushner cannot do his job professionally as the senior adviser to President Donald Trump. Kushner’s family real-estate business is loaded with debt, not ordinary debt but massive debt. At the peak of subprime housing bubble, the Kushner Companies agreed to pay US$1.8 billion for a piece of property in 2006.
That property – skyscraper at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan – set a new record for the highest price for a single real estate asset ever paid in the United States. Of course, it was a bad deal. When the 2008 subprime crisis exploded, the Kushners had to sell off pieces of the building and have continued to lose money on the 50.5% of its office space they still own.
The remaining US$1.2 billion mortgage, half of which the Kushner are responsible for, is due in February 2019. And they could lose the control of the building since the Kushner have paid off none of the debt so far. Jared is leveraging on his foreign policy portfolio in the White House, working “part-time” looking for foreign source of funds to redevelop the building.
There’s a reason why people like Jared Kushner cannot be allowed to mix business with politics in White House. His situation screams conflicts of interests. His business dealings, not to mention Kushner Companies’ huge debt, will obviously make him prone to manipulation by foreign governments. His top-secret government security clearance was particularly valuable.
At least 4 countries – United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Israel and China – were reportedly in discussion on how their nations could benefit from Kushner’s international business dealings and lack of government experience. Due to the concerns that Kushner was naive, arrogant and heavily in debt, White House chief of staff Kelly eventually downgraded his security clearance from top-secret to secret.
Jared Kushner isn’t the only liability that President Trump needs to get rid of. His favourite daughter is equally a heavy burden, if not a time-bomb waiting to explode. The U.S. counterintelligence officials are now scrutinizing IvankaTrump’s negotiations and financing surrounding 63-storey Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver.
The US$360 million project in Canada, which features 147 guest rooms and 217 luxury residences, was developed by 37-year-old Tiah Joo Kim, the son of Malaysian tycoon Tony Tiah Thee Kian. The junior Tiah is the CEO of his family-owned property development company TA Global Berhad and its Canadian-based Holborn Group.
Although Joo Kim is the face of Holborn, the company is backed financially by his father Tony Tiah, chairman of TA Enterprise, which controls several other businesses. Like Jared Kushner’s father, Tony Tiah was once a famous white collar crook. Before the 1997 Asia Financial Crisis, Tony’s TA Enterprise was the largest stockbroker in town, with over 700 remisiers.
Both Tony Tiah and his partner-in-crime, businessman Soh Chee Wen, were charged with defrauding Omega Securities of RM424 million in a share transaction in August 1999. In 2002, Tony Tiah was finally convicted but on a reduced charge. Soh Chee Wen, politically linked to Malaysian government, fled Malaysia and was returned to face justice after being placed on Interpol’s wanted list.
The business dealings between Ivanka Trump and the 37-year-old son of Malaysian infamous white collar crook doesn’t gel well with the fact that Ivanka is also President Trump’s senior adviser. FBI has every reason to suspect that the flow of foreign money to Trump and Kushner families in exchange for top secret information is absolutely possible.
Adding salt into the injury, all three individuals – Donald, Ivanka and Kushner – were seen rubbing shoulders with crooks or having financial problems. President Donald Trump himself invited Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, arguably the world’s biggest crook, to the White House despite refused to do so initially. Ivanka and Jared are the baggage Trump doesn’t need at Oval Office.
– Finance Twitter