Kushner tried to sell Observer to top Clinton ally days before joining White House

Kushner tried to sell Observer to top Clinton ally days before joining White House

Senior White House adviser 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 was in talks to sell the New York Observer to a top ally of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Trump keeps up 'low IQ' attack on Maxine Waters GOP leaders to Trump: Leave Mueller alone MORE just days before joining the Trump administration, BuzzFeed News reports.

BuzzFeed News reports that Kushner —  who owned the Observer since 2006 — engaged in talks with top Clinton operative David Brock, who at the time was exploring a media venture meant to serve as a counterbalance on the left to right-wing Breitbart News. Another top Clinton donor, Haim Saban, was also involved in the talks.


Kushner recused himself from the talks after the first conversation, but reportedly had no qualms about selling the news organization to the Clinton ally.

The talks eventually fell through and Kushner transferred his ownership of Observer Media's remaining online assets into a trust controlled by his brother-in-law Joseph Meyer. Brock later opened Shareblue, a pro-Clinton online media organization.

During the election, Brock's "Correct the Record" super PAC spent more than $1 million on digital media to respond to Trump supporters and other Clinton critics online.

The Observer's former editor-in-chief, Ken Kurson, said he hoped at the time that Kushner would take the deal, despite the fact that Brock had attended a retreat with other Clinton donors to talk strategy against the new president just a month before.

“I kept looking up to see if there was a black condor circling overhead, but in person, this legendary Democratic assassin is perfectly friendly and reasonable. I was hoping a deal would happen, because for me personally, once Jared went to Washington, the fun of editing the Observer was diminished,” Kurson told BuzzFeed.

Observer Media formerly published a print edition until the day after Trump's election. The organization is now helmed by James Karklins, the former chief marketing officer for Newsweek Media Group.