Jared and Ivanka Are Buried in Debt

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Trump Maladministration

Let this soak in: Politico reported last week that the debt Jared and Ivanka were carrying on one Visa card dropped from a range of $100,001 to $250,000 down to a range of $50,001 to $100,000. “However, in revisions to the form before it was formally certified by the Office of Government Ethics on Dec. 26, the outstanding debt for the three credit lines was raised to the higher level.”

That’s credit card debt, people. Average interest rates on credit cards is about 15 percent right now, and of course plebians like us pay a lot more, like 20-something percent. People who run up credit card debt like that have financial issues, somehow. Maybe what they call a “cash flow” problem.

This week, we learned that “Jared and Ivanka have gone from cumulative debt of somewhere between $19 million and $98 million to a range of $31 million to $155 million in the last year alone.” And here I would have been telling them they’d better be saving their money, because once the Trump Administration finally goes down their earning opportunities are going to go down with it.

We learned this week that along with his much amended security clearance forms, Jared recently has been correcting his financial disclosure forms.

Jared Kushner quietly filed an addendum to his personal financial disclosure adding even more previously undisclosed business interests in recent weeks — and may have even more to disclose, according to real estate documents shared with TPM.

Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a top adviser, wrote a letter to White House Deputy Counsel Stefan Passantino dated Jan. 3, 2018 adding a number of additional business interests that had not previously been on his personal financial disclosure form.

That letter, which has not been previously reported, corrects and adds new corporate positions and details of his companies’ structures that he legally was required to disclose, in a seeming attempt to square his filing with spouse Ivanka Trump’s as well as clean up some previously overlooked items.

Also, too:

According to a separate recent update from Ivanka Trump, Kushner appears to have taken out millions more in loans in recent months, a sign that his business may be on the rocks. The couple are currently battling a lawsuit filed in December that accuses them of illegally omitting information for 32 other companies, raising the possibility of hidden conflicts of interest.

Somehow, all those “business interests” must not be generating what we call “income.”

Now, let’s talk about Jared’s lack of a security clearance. Jennifer Rubin wrote,

Kushner met with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, to discuss a secret back channel and with the head of a sanctioned Russian bank, VneshEconomBank (VEB). (“The conversation is curious not only because it represents a top Trump official secretly meeting with an arm of the Russian government, but also because accounts of the meeting differ in important ways,” The Atlantic’s David Graham noted at the time. “Kushner says he attended the meeting in his capacity as an adviser to President-elect Trump. But VEB says that the meeting concerned Kushner’s family real-estate business.”) And he was present at the now-infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower attended by a Kremlin-connected lawyer.

Kushner’s financial problems make these contacts all the more troubling. As he was racking up debt, Fordham Law School professor Jed Shugerman tells me, Kushner “also just coincidentally was setting up secret lines to the Kremlin and was meeting with (Russian President Vladmir) Putin’s banker a month after the election. And he just coincidentally was meeting with Russians offering dirt in Trump Tower during the election.” He explains, “Kushner’s massive debts are an important piece of the entire Russia conspiracy on some of the parties’ motives (Kushner, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump) for such inexplicable behavior and such risk-taking.”

And here is what we call the very obvious “bottom line.”

In sum, Kushner has huge and growing debt, many suspicious Russian contacts and a close relationship (perhaps second only to Ivanka’s) with Trump. “The more money Kushner owes, especially to lenders or guarantors who do not have America’s best interests at heart, the more he and his father-in-law the president are subject to compromising pressures at best and outright blackmail at worst,” constitutional lawyer Larry Tribe tells me. “The fact that Kushner, without full security clearance, is permitted to peruse the president’s daily briefing, containing the most secret information that exists, makes all of Kushner’s financial obligations and debts urgent threats to our national security. This situation is unconscionable.”

Does anyone seriously think that Trump and the Kushners are above compromising American interests to make some money on the side? Of course they aren’t.

See also “Jared Kushner May Soon Be Working at TGI Fridays — If They’ll Have Him.”

When Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump accepted jobs as senior advisers to the president (a.k.a. “Dad”), they allegedly saw the gigs as stepping stones that would one day lead to a scenario in which one of them was president. But if the events of the past week (not to mention the past 15 months!) are any indication, political ascendance is not exactly in the cards for these two. Ivanka, of course, has her #WomenWhoWork hashtag to fall back on. Jared’s prospects, sadly, look less bright. His safety net—Kushner Cos.’s real-estate empire—is rapidly filling with holes, thanks in part to his own industry know-how, which could be charitably described as somewhat lacking.

Remember, neither Jared nor Ivanka have ever actually held jobs.

Speaking of security clearance — let’s look up the food chain a bit to Trump himself. Jonathan Chait writes that there’s a real possibility Trump is being blackmailed by Russia now.

Ronan Farrow’s new story shows that Trump habitually pays for sex. He had an affair with former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, and offered her money after sex, which she turned down. At another point in the story, he offered adult entertainer Jessica Drake $10,000 for “her company.”

Farrow’s reporting also implies, without quite establishing as an absolute certainty, that Trump maintained a system for silencing his sexual partners. A network of sleazy operators, sometimes working in conjunction with National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, Trump’s close friend, would pay off women to prevent their stories from seeing the light of day. In any case, previous reporting by The Wall Street Journal has already established that Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid at least one of his former mistresses to stay quiet.

So, we know Trump habitually pays for sex, and we also know he is willing to pay to keep embarrassing secrets from going public. That is to say, these secrets could be leveraged against him.

This renders the sleazier allegations from the Steele Dossier a lot more credible, Chait writes. Of course, even if they aren’t true, there’s a huge possibility that Trump has financial secrets Putin knows about and America doesn’t.

But I bet Bob Mueller will sniff them out, if he hasn’t already …

But certainly the Russian blackmail theory explains why Trump steadfastly refuses to do anything about Russia. See “Trump’s Conspicuous Silence Leaves a Struggle Against Russia Without a Leader.”

See also “Mueller levels new claim of bank fraud against Manafort.”

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Swami  •  Feb 17, 2018 @3:32 pm

    Ivanka better save enough money on her credit card availability balance to put some money into Dotard's prison commissary account. He's gonna need a lot of chocolate bars to pay for protection to safeguard his virginity. Chico has a thing for the Nordic type. There's nothing better than a big blonde with a hefty back seat.

  2. chris  •  Feb 17, 2018 @7:28 pm

    "In any case, previous reporting by The Wall Street Journal has already established that Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid at least one of his former mistresses to stay quiet."

    This may not be true.

    If that statement refers to Stormy Daniels, then one needs to reread Cohen's statement regarding that: "In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford."

    It's important to not that there is "lawyer speak" being used. Note he states he used his "own personal funds to FACILITATE a payment…"

    All Cohen did was grease the skids for that 130 grand to get to Ms Clifford. What exactly does that mean? Did he purchase the PO Box where the money was sent? Maybe. Maybe something else. But it does not exactly state that he alone paid Ms Clifford.

    He also continues with, "Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford," conspicuously not singling out Donald Trump himself.

    Remember, this is a lawyer speaking and how many lawyers representing shady characters do you know that speak what they mean?

  3. Doug  •  Feb 17, 2018 @8:04 pm

    IMO, Trump would not jump through Putin's hoops over a sex scandal. My personal best bet is that Putin unearthed evidence of finacial dealings that would send Trump to jail. Do not Pass Go. Do not Collect $200. 

    The failure of Taj Mahal involved a lot of bank money and a lot of bank losses. What if that was fraudulent? The only thing that will send a rich man to jail is stealing from another rich man. Ask Bernie Madoff. I include Treason and Obstructing Justice. Trump won't be charged or convicted regardless of the evidence unless he stuck it to Bank of America. 

    Refusing to execute the sanctions in the climate Trump is in means Putin has Trump's soul. I don't think it's over kitty. (Think about it – I'm avoiding the spam filters.) My guess is that Ivanka signed a pre-nup that gives Trump custody of Barron in a divorce. She can signal her disapproval up to a point – Trump knows how damaging an ugly divorce could be. IMO, she knows (now) that she was breeding stock – period. His last hope of a male heir who isn't stupid as a rock. The public humiliation of reports of affairs when she was still nursing a new-born have to sting. Of everyone who dislikes Trump, she may want him to go to jail the most – the only hold he has over her would end.

  4. Tom_b  •  Feb 17, 2018 @8:14 pm

    “So, we know Trump habitually pays for sex, and we also know he is willing to pay to keep embarrassing secrets from going public”

    Like, there’s anything more embarrassing in the world than BEING Trump? Whose own staff of (small)-hand-picked toadies openly call him a“f’ing moron”?

    Maybe he just wants to avoid Melania putting itching powder in his undies  on a per-indiscretion basis. Or peeing on his McD Freedom Fries, though he may like that…..

    Heck, maybe Melania PAYS the other girls to carry the load.

    Meanwhile, Congress is about as effective as they are against the NRA. “It’s mental illness! He needs his monthly dose of the clap.”

  5. freetofu  •  Feb 17, 2018 @8:47 pm

    Yes, the concerns about financial entanglement and blackmail strike me as legitimate concerns. There's a whole lot of sleaze attached to this administration after all.

    But there's an "on the other hand…" because I keep seeing this idea that anyone who's identified as Russian is automatically seen as suspicious and sinister, as is anybody who criticizes Hillary, very much including those who criticize her from the left.

    There's a lot of paranoia out there. And with all the sleazy and reckless things Trump does, I really wonder if this stuff is really the wisest thing to focus on.

  6. Rick  •  Feb 18, 2018 @8:13 am

    Funny how Jared has all this debt and we hear that he is a big consumer (requester) of intelligence information.  Is he getting paid by the Russians to share our secret information?   Sure seems like that might be happening. 

    Oh, did I mention he doesn't have a full security clearance? 

  7. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 18, 2018 @1:24 pm

    Donald Trump, the head of his (International Crime) Family:

    The grifter who keeps on grifting.

     

  8. uncledad  •  Feb 18, 2018 @6:58 pm

    Either Mueller has some more bad shit on Trump and he released the 13 indictments to butter up the FAUX news crowd (get them to admit he's not a left wing mole) before he drops the bomb. Or that's all he's got or at least all he's gonna cough up? Either way I feel the 13 indictments are proof that the Ruskies got tRump elected, no doubt, read the whole thing, tRump should be in jail!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afrdo2qneoI

  9. Diane  •  Feb 18, 2018 @8:48 pm

    Don't forget Jared's boondoggle,  the 666 5th Ave building, a whopping 1.2 billion mortgage due next year. And that is interest only.

    But they have the 'BEST' example of how to get out of financial difficulties, bankruptcy!

     

  10. csm  •  Feb 18, 2018 @10:17 pm

    The one thing the Trumps appear to be great at, is cultivating myths about their greatness and superiority, with their alleged wealth as evidence of it.  Many people, especially his Deplorable worshippers, assume Trump must be smart, a great business man, deal maker, etc. because he is wealthy.  Trump perpetuates the lie that he made this great fortune all on his own when the opposite is true; he was given a vast fortune, of which its alleged would be far greater had he not tried his hand at business and just left it alone. Which is likely part of the reason Trump has maintained a death grip on his tax returns, lest the “billionaire” be exposed as something far less.

    Kushner is billed as a great young genius, and is this justified running foreign policy and who knows what else.  But there is no basis for it based on his track record as owner of the NY Observer…

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/30/i-worked-with-jared-kushner-hes-the-wrong-businessman-to-reinvent-government/?utm_term=.22b88e6d10a7

    as well as his disastrous stewardship of the family business…

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/09/jared-kushner-family-empire-observer

    The most you can say about Ivanka is she is the pampered and spoiled rich girl playing at business to keep her busy and away from a real job, until Orange Julius exits the physical realm and the trust fund kicks in.  Harsh, maybe.  But what evidence has there been of her "greatness" in her tenure as a "white house adviser?"

    That said it doesn't surprise me "the kids" are in debt to that extent.  It takes a lot of other people's money to keep up a facade of being super wealthy.   They learned that from the old man.

     

  11. Procopius  •  Feb 18, 2018 @11:11 pm

    You quote Jonathon Chait as writing, "In any case, previous reporting by The Wall Street Journal has already established that Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid at least one of his former mistresses to stay quiet." This is not true. What the WSJ reported was that Michael Cohen said he paid Stormy Daniels. I hope you keep the distinction in mind. There is far too much careless raising levels of certainty going on. There has never been any evidence released (perhaps the FBI has some, or even the CIA) that the Russian government was behind the break-in at the DNC's computer. The garbage that was published claiming to do so even included the caveat that it was not proof, and even so was torn to shreds by people knowledgeable of forensic computer analysis. People are grossly overstating what the latest Mueller indictments "prove."

  12. Swami  •  Feb 19, 2018 @2:57 am

     My personal best bet is that Putin unearthed evidence of finacial dealings that would send Trump to jail.

    I'd bet that Putin created the evidence. Putin saw Trump coming and realized here's the perfect tool to carry out my plan to introduce chaos and division into America's democracy. It didn't take much to see that Trump was so wrapped up in his own delusions of being a superior intellect that he was the perfect subject to be snared by Putin's schemes. 

     Remember that Trump was over the moon impressed with himself for his perceived political masterwork in attacking Obama with his birther conspiracy. Putin realized that Trump was up and running with no training necessary, ready to go, all that was needed was to supply Trump with fuel. And that fuel came in ways that Trump might not be aware of, but it also came in ways that Trump was aware of, which were the hacked emails and hacking of the DNC. Enter the coffee boy!

    There is no doubt that Trump colluded with Russian interests, which now as a result of Mueller's latest indictment makes Trump a party to a criminal conspiracy. Trump was smug and confident in not being found out when he was cracking jokes about the Russians finding Hillary's missing emails but now he's consumed with denying any involvement with the Russians because he know's there was involvement.  

    Mueller's next round of indictments is going to bring the house down on Trump. Whether in a court of law or the court of public opinion it's going to be over for Trump. I suspect from watching how Mueller works that there won't be an escape hatch for Trump. The voices of outrage are reaching a crescendo. 

  13. Swami  •  Feb 19, 2018 @3:17 am

    Don't forget Rick Gate just rolled over and will cooperate in adding prison time on Manafort. Manafort was at the Trump Tower meeting.. what do you think? Will he take one for the Donald? I don't think so!

     No honor among thieves.

  14. Strigiforms  •  Feb 21, 2018 @1:45 am

    I thought this was a great summary and a very interesting read. Also an interesting discussion in the comments. I hope you don't mind that I linked to this summary in my own blog.  My blog's on the recent "Kushner will keep doing his job even if he doesn't have security clearance" remarks from the White House, but I think it is important to make clear why there is no clearance, including his problematical and incomplete financial disclosures. Which you have amply done here.

    If you want to take a look, my blog link is: 

    http://strigiforms.com/remind-need-security-clearances-kushner/

     

  15. Swami  •  Feb 21, 2018 @3:43 am

    A little off topic…but I watched Sarah Huckabee Sanders' press briefing today and I notice she's starting to misfire on  her responses. Normally she's pretty good at delivering rapid fire diversionary responses without hesitations, but today she was misfiring.  Sorta like she was overloaded with deception and didn't have her normal grin of delight in her ability to deliver lies. She looked troubled and her eye motions showed her confusion. My sense is that she's on the ropes because the chaos and lies coming from Trump is too much of a weight to handle.

     If I were in her position and had to handle the stress of trying to make Trump look like something that resembles a president who is rational and involved in governing, I think I would have collapsed under the weight of carrying the burden that she has. I don't think she's going to go the distance..especially when the wheels come off the Trump train. The rivets are starting to pop.



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