Kushner Companies, Trump Organization in talks about hotel business deal

The family company of President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerDonald Trump slams Jan. 6 panel after Ivanka Trump interview request: 'They'll go after children' Kushner investment firm raises more than B: report Trump: Netanyahu 'never wanted peace' with Palestinians 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.

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Former Office of Government Ethics (OGE) chief Walter ShaubWalter Michael ShaubPelosi faces pushback over stock trade defense Ted Cruz labels Big Bird's vaccination tweet 'propaganda' Thousands march on Washington in voting rights push 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.”