Monday, January 16, 2017

Jared Kushner the Quiet Fixer : Trump Taps Jewish Son-In-Law to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace

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Jared Kushner, who is married to US President-elect Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, will be the next American peace envoy to the Middle East.

Trump confirmed the appointment in an weekend interview with London’s Sunday Times.

“You know what? Jared is such a good lad, he will secure an Israel deal which no one else has managed to get. You know, he’s a natural talent, he is the top, he is a natural talent. You know what I’m talking about – a natural talent. He has an innate ability to make deals, everyone likes him,” Trump told the newspaper.

Kushner was said to have been one of Trump’s chief advisers on foreign policy during the election campaign.

In the past, Kushner’s family donated large sums of money to Jewish settlement projects in Judea and Samaria.

Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner cropped.jpg
Senior Advisor to the President
Taking office
January 20, 2017
PresidentDonald Trump (elect)
SucceedingBrian Deese
Valerie Jarrett
Shailagh Murray
Personal details
BornJared Corey Kushner
January 10, 1981 (age 36)
Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Democratic (Formerly)
Spouse(s)Ivanka Trump (m. 2009)
RelationsJoshua Kushner (brother)
Murray Kushner (uncle)
ParentsCharles Kushner
Seryl Stadtmauer
EducationHarvard University (BA)
New York University (MBA), (JD)
ReligionModern Orthodox Judaism
Jared Corey Kushner (born January 10, 1981) is an American real estate investor and developer, publisher, and senior advisor to President-elect Donald Trump. Together with Chief of Staff Reince Preibus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, he forms Trump's leadership team. Kushner is said to be Donald Trump's most trusted advisor, showing unwavering loyalty to his father-in-law
He is principal owner of the real estate holding and development company Kushner Companies and of Observer Media, publisher of the weekly, on-line New York Observer. On January 9, 2017, Kushner was named to be a Senior White House Adviser to his father-in-law, President-elect Donald Trump. As a result, Kushner will resign as CEO of his family's real estate company and as publisher of the New York Observer. He will also divest "substantial assets."
Kushner is the son of American real estate developer Charles Kushner and is married to Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President-elect of the United States Donald Trump. He was among the senior advisors of Trump's presidential campaign, and developed Trump's digital media strategy.
In 2007, his father's company, Kushner Companies, made the most expensive single-building property purchase in US history, acquiring 666 Fifth Avenue. In 2011, Kushner brought in Vornado Realty Trust as a 50% equity partner in the ownership of the building.

Early life and education

Kushner is the elder son of Seryl Kushner (née Stadtmauer) and real estate developer Charles Kushner, whose parents were Holocaust survivors who came to America from Poland in 1949.] He has a brother, Joshua (also a businessman), and two sisters, Nicole and Dara. He is also a nephew of Murray Kushner, the owner of Kushner Real Estate Group. Kushner Real Estate Group is separate from Kushner Companies, which Murray Kushner started in 2000.
Kushner was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family in New Jersey. He graduated from the Frisch School, a private, coed yeshiva high school in 1999. According to Risa Heller, a spokeswoman for Kushner Companies, he was an honors student and a member of the debate, hockey, and basketball teams while at Frisch.
In 2003, Kushner graduated cum laude from Harvard College with a B.A. in sociology. According to journalist Daniel Golden, Kushner and his brother Joshua were admitted to Harvard after their father had made a $2.5 million donation to the university.
While a student at Harvard, Kushner was a member of the Fly Club and bought and sold buildings in Somerville, Massachusetts, earning a $20 million profit.
In 2007, Kushner graduated from New York University where he earned a J.D. and M.B.A.; his father had previously made a $3 million donation to NYU in 2001.[ He interned at Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's office and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

Business career

Real estate

Kushner Companies purchased 666 Fifth Avenue in 2007 for $1.8 billion, the most expensive single property purchase in US history at the time.[24]

In May 2015, Kushner purchased a majority stake of One Times Square for $295 million.
Kushner is a real estate investor and has increased the Kushner Companies presence in the New York City real estate market as a principal in his family's real estate company. His father, Charles Kushner, was arrested on charges of tax evasion, illegal campaign donations, and witness tampering in 2004 and was eventually convicted on all charges (by the then U.S. Attorney Chris Christie) and sentenced to two years in federal prison.
Kushner Companies purchased the office building at 666 Fifth Avenue in 2007, for a then-record price of $1.8 billion, most of it borrowed. However, following the property crash in 2008, the cash flow generated by the property was insufficient to cover its debt service, and the Kushners were forced to sell the retail portion in the building to Stanley Chera for more than $1 billion and bring in Vornado Realty Trust as a 50% equity partner in the ownership of the building.
He assumed the role of CEO of Kushner Companies in 2008. On August 18, 2014, Kushner acquired a three-building apartment portfolio in Middle River, Maryland, for $37.9 million with Aion Partners. In 2013–14, he and his company acquired more than 11,000 units throughout New York, New Jersey, and the Baltimore area.In May 2015, he purchased 50.1% of the Times Square Building from Africa Israel Investments Ltd. for $295 million.
In 2015, Kushner scored spot No. 25 on Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 list ranking the most influential young people in business.

Newspaper publishing

At age 25, Kushner purchased the New York Observer, a weekly New York City newspaper, for $10 million,[32] using money he says he earned during his college years by closing deals on residential buildings in Somerville, Massachusetts, with family members providing the backing for his investments
After purchasing the Observer, Kushner published it in tabloid format. Since then, he has been credited with increasing the Observer's online presence and expanding the Observer Media Group. Very young and with no substantial experience in journalism, Kushner could not establish a good relationship with the newspaper's veteran editor-in-chief, Peter W. Kaplan. “This guy doesn’t know what he doesn’t know,” Kaplan remarked about Kushner, to colleagues, at the time. As a result of his differences with Kushner, Kaplan quit his position. Kaplan was followed by a series of short-lived successors until Kushner hired Elizabeth Spiers in 2011. In December 2011, the New York Post reported that the Observer expected to become profitable for the first time..Spiers left the newspaper in 2012. In January 2013, Kushner hired a new editor-in-chief, Ken Kurson. Kurson had been a consultant to Republican political candidates in New Jersey[ and one-time member of Rudy Giuliani's unsuccessful 2008 presidential primary campaign.
According to Vanity Fair, under Kushner, the "Observer has lost virtually all of its cultural currency among New York’s elite, but the paper is now profitable and reporting traffic growth ... [it] boasts 6 million unique visitors per month, up from 1.3 million in January 2013". In April 2016, the New York Observer became one of only a handful of newspapers to officially endorse United States presidential candidate Donald Trump in the Republican primary, but the paper ended the campaign period by choosing not to back any presidential candidate at all.

Los Angeles Dodgers bid

In February 2012, Kushner put in a bid to acquire the MLB team the Los Angeles Dodgers. He withdrew his bid in March 2012.

Political activity

Donald Trump presidential campaign

From the outset of the presidential campaign of his father-in-law Donald Trump, Kushner was the architect of Trump's digital, online and social media campaigns, enlisting talent from Silicon Valley to run a 100-person social-media team dubbed "Project Alamo".[4] Kushner has also helped as a speechwriter and was tasked with working to establish a plan for Trump's White House transition team should he be elected. He was for a time seen as Trump's de facto campaign manager, succeeding Corey Lewandowski, who was fired in part on Kushner's recommendation in June 2016. He has been intimately involved with campaign strategy, coordinating Trump's visit in late August to Mexico and he was believed to be responsible for the choice of Mike Pence as Trump's running mate. Kushner's "sprawling digital fundraising database and social media campaign" has been described as "the locus of his father-in-law’s presidential bid".
According to Eric Schmidt, "Jared Kushner is the biggest surprise of the 2016 election, Best I can tell, he actually ran the campaign and did it with essentially no resources."Eric Schmidt said, "Jared understood the online world in a way the traditional media folks didn't. He managed to assemble a presidential campaign on a shoestring using new technology and won. That's a big deal. Remember all those articles about how they had no money, no people, organizational structure? Well, they won, and Jared ran it."Peter Thiel said "If Trump was the CEO, Jared was effectively the chief operating officer.”
On July 5, 2016 Kushner wrote an open letter in the New York Observer addressing the controversy around a tweet from the Trump campaign containing allegedly antisemitic imagery. He was responding to his own paper's editorial by Dana Schwartz criticizing Kushner's involvement with the Trump campaign.[50] In the letter, Kushner wrote, "In my opinion, accusations like “racist” and “anti-Semite” are being thrown around with a carelessness that risks rendering these words meaningless."

Donald Trump presidential transition

President-elect Trump and Japanese PM Shinzō Abe, November 17, 2016
During the presidential transition, Kushner was said to be his father-in-law's "confidant" and one of Donald Trump's closest advisors, even more so than Trump's four adult children Trump was reported to have requested the top-secret security clearance for him to attend the Presidential daily intelligence briefings as his staff-level companion, along with General Mike Flynn who already has the clearance.
The Washington PostNew York Times and numerous other national news authorities explain Kushner was an influential factor behind the firing of New Jersey governor Chris Christie as head of the transition team, as well as the dismissal from the Donald Trump transition team of anyone connected to Christie. A source familiar with the Trump campaign explained that “Jared doesn’t like Christie. He’s always held [the prosecution of his father, Charles Kushner] against Christie.”
The New York Times reports that Kushner is an admirer of the story The Count of Monte Cristo, which tells of an innocent man who seeks vengeance against people he thinks have wronged him.] Kushner's and Chris Christie's lives became intertwined in 2005 when Jared Kushner was 24 years old, the New York Times reports. In 2005, Mr. Christie, then the United States attorney for New Jersey, sent Mr. Kushner’s father, Charles, to federal prison for tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign donations.As the Times, CNN] ad The Washington Post reported, the case involved a tawdry family feud: At one point, Charles Kushner sought to blackmail his brother-in-law, who was cooperating with the federal authorities, by hiring a woman to seduce him and videotape the encounter. Charles Kushner was sentenced to two years in prison, but he was released in 2006 after just 14 months in the federal penitentiary in Alabama and spent the remainder of his sentence in a New Jersey halfway house.
Kushner told Forbes that the reports that he was involved in Christie's dismissal were false: “Six months ago Governor Christie and I decided this election was much bigger than any differences we may have had in the past, and we worked very well together. The media has speculated on a lot of different things, and since I don't talk to the press, they go as they go, but I was not behind pushing out him or his people.”

Donald Trump presidential administration

In January 2017, Kushner was named a Senior White House Advisor to President-elect Trump. Kushner's appointment has been questioned on the basis of a 1967 anti-nepotism law, but Kushner's attorney has asserted that the appointment is legal. Kushner plans to step down from his newspaper role in favor of his brother-in-law, Joseph Meyer.[62]

Personal life

Kushner married Ivanka Trump, daughter of businessman and U.S. president-elect Donald Trump, in a Jewish ceremony on October 25, 2009. Ivanka converted to Judaism under the auspices of a modern Orthodox rabbi before marrying Kushner. Kushner and Trump have three children.

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