Kushner Companies, Trump Organization in talks about hotel business deal

The family company of President TrumpDonald John TrumpScarborough mocks 'Deflection Don' over transgender troop ban Pelosi condemns Trump's 'cowardly, disgusting' ban on transgender troops Trump moves to ban most transgender people from serving in military MORE's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerJim Carrey paints Kushner as 'self-unmade man' The Daily Show jokes Trump’s new legal counsel is a TV Mueller investigates, Peters quits Fox, White House leaks abound MORE has reportedly been in talks with the Trump Organization over a possible business deal around the construction of oceanfront property in New Jersey.

The New York Times reports that Kushner Companies and the Trump Organization have signed a letter of intent declaring the Trump Organization's plan to manage a hotel at the center of the Kushner Companies' $283 million expansion of of Pier Village in Long Branch, N.J.

Kushner, who sold some of his holdings in the Kushner Companies before joining his father-in-law's administration, still maintains an ownership stake in the New Jersey development, which further blurs the lines between the White House, the Trump family and the two businesses.

The news also comes just weeks after Kushner's security clearance was downgraded as his application for a permanent clearance stretches on.


Former Office of Government Ethics (OGE) chief Walter ShaubWalter Michael ShaubKushner Companies, Trump Organization in talks about hotel business deal Shaub on Conway ethics violations: 'Enough is enough' Kellyanne Conway found to have violated Hatch Act MORE told the Times that the New Jersey business deal could lead to Kushner having "leverage" over the president, who transferred management of the Trump Organization to his two adult sons before taking office last year.

"If a subordinate is your son-in-law, maybe you like them, but once you have entangled business interests, they’ve got leverage over you. Blood is not thicker than money for a lot of people," Shaub said.

In a statement to the Times, Kushner Companies played down the Trump family's financial stake in the New Jersey deal.

The Trumps "have zero equity of any type in our properties or businesses,” the statement reads. “We are contemplating a third-party operator agreement with their hotel management division at market rate.” 

Eric Danziger, the head of Trump Hotels, called the possible agreement a "straight-up business deal" in a statement denying that such a deal with Kushner Companies could pose a conflict.

“This is a straight-up business deal,” he said.

“If there were something out of the ordinary about the deal, then I think that question is fair,” he added. "We do market transactions that are reviewed and checked.”