Kushner family solicited Qatari investment just before blockade: report

Kushner family solicited Qatari investment just before blockade: report

White House senior adviser and President TrumpDonald John TrumpKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Anti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough Illinois primary fight MORE’s son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerOvernight Cybersecurity: Senate Intel releases election security findings | Facebook to meet with officials on Capitol Hill amid Cambridge Analytica fallout | Orbitz admits possible breach White House vents frustration with 'absurd' Mueller probe Trump legal team seeks to add GOP attorney Theodore Olson: report MORE’s family real estate company sought an investment from the government of Qatar just weeks before a Middle Eastern blockade against the country, according to a Thursday report.

Two sources told The Intercept that Kushner’s father, Charles, met with Qatar’s Finance Minister Ali Sharif al-Emadi in New York in April to seek an investment from the Qatari government for the Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Ave. property.

The two men and their aides met for 30 minutes, according to the report, and a second meeting was held the next day at the Fifth Avenue location. Al-Emadi didn’t personally attend the second meeting, and the deal was never completed.

The Fifth Avenue building is a flagship of the Kushner family’s real estate business and has been the nexus for conflict-of-interest questions surrounding Kushner and his role in Trump’s White House.

Kushner Companies bought the property for $1.8 billion in 2007. Before resigning his role at the company to join the Trump administration, Kushner introduced a $7.5 billion plan to redevelop the skyscraper and reportedly pursued foreign investment in the project to pay down its massive debts, which were recently reported to equal $1.448 billion.


The meeting between Charles Kushner and the Qatari finance minister occurred weeks before a group of Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain severed diplomatic ties with Qatar and closed all land, sea and air borders. The countries accused the Qatari government of supporting extremist groups such as Hamas, al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. Several other countries later followed suit.

Qatar has denied the allegations.

At the time, Trump took credit for the four Arab countries’ decision to cut ties with Qatar, which took place just after his visit to Saudi Arabia. The country was putting pressure on the U.S. to condemn Qatar for its alleged support of terrorism.

“During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!” he tweeted in June.

“So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding …. extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!” he continued.

Despite his remarks encouraging the blockade, Trump is reportedly set to hold a series of meetings with Arab leaders this spring in an attempt to end the diplomatic fight.

Kushner’s attempts to secure foreign financing for his real estate company are reportedly being scrutinized by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, including a previous attempt to secure an investment from former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani.

The Washington Post reported this week that foreign officials in four countries — the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico — have privately talked about how they could gain leverage against Kushner by using his business interests and lack of foreign policy experience to their advantage.

Charles Kushner was imprisoned and disbarred after pleading guilty in 2005 to convictions of tax evasion and illegal campaign contributions.