Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Thursday, March 1st, 2018.


Did Jared Get Caught?

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Trump Maladministration

The New York Times is reporting an apparent conflict of interest between Jared Kushner and companies that met with him in the White House.

Early last year, a private equity billionaire started paying regular visits to the White House.

Joshua Harris, a founder of Apollo Global Management, was advising Trump administration officials on infrastructure policy. During that period, he met on multiple occasions with Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, said three people familiar with the meetings. Among other things, the two men discussed a possible White House job for Mr. Harris.

The job never materialized, but in November, Apollo lent $184 million to Mr. Kushner’s family real estate firm, Kushner Companies. The loan was to refinance the mortgage on a Chicago skyscraper.

Even by the standards of Apollo, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, the previously unreported transaction with the Kushners was a big deal:It was triple the size of the average property loan made by Apollo’s real estate lending arm, securities  filings show.

It was one of the largest loans Kushner Companies received last year. An even larger loan came from Citigroup, which lent the firm and one of its partners $325 million to help finance a group of office buildings in Brooklyn.

A number of White House spokespeople have released the usual bullshit about how this isn’t what it looks like.

Update: Here is a statement being sent by email from a group called the Patriotic Millionaires:

“We don’t want to accuse anyone of inappropriate conduct, but the timeline of Kushner’s meetings with the executives from Apollo and Citigroup is questionable at best. Looking at the large loans the Kushner Companies received and at the Trump Administration’s subsequent one-eighty on closing the carried interest loophole, there is little room for doubt that corruption and pay-to-play politics are to blame for the continued existence of this egregious loophole.”

Charles Pierce:

It has not been a good week for the Dauphin-in-Law. First, he gets his security clearance pulled, at least in part because oligarchs from foreign lands considered him the biggest sucker on the planet. Now, he’s at the center of a steaming pile of corruption so blatant that it would have embarrassed Ferdinand Marcos. If he’s at all smart, he’s spending hours in front of a mirror, repeating the phrase, “To the best of my recollection,” over and over until he can appear sincere.

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