Kushner's White House security clearance downgraded

Kushner's White House security clearance downgraded

On Wednesday, New York Times reported that private equity firm Apollo Global Management and Citigroup extended loans that amounted to more than half a billion dollars to a company owned by the family of President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

It was one of the largest loans Kushner Cos. received past year. $184 million in November, months after Kushner met with Apollo founder Joshua Harris and discussed a possible job in the White House for him, the Times reported.

If the Kushners have nothing to hide, they certainly don't act like it; on February 9, Kushner Cos. filed a motion in federal court for a new venue for its Maryland apartment complex case in an attempt to avoid revealing the identities of the project's investors. Kushner and the equity group executive reportedly met a number of times before the loan was granted.

But it's fairly unprecedented for a senior adviser to hold official White House meetings with the heads of companies that are considering loans to his family business, government watchdogs told the newspaper.

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The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) made the requests to Deutsche Bank, Signature Bank and New York Community Bank for information on loans and other financial arrangements including lines of credit and loan guarantees a week ago, the person said. The Apollo loan was triple the size of the average Apollo property loan, the Times says.

The funding from Apollo Global Management went toward the Kushner Company's mortgage on a Chicago skyscraper, while the loan from Citigroup was used for the Kushner Company's Brooklyn office buildings.

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The two reportedly spoke about a potential job opportunity at the White House, but the job did not come to fruition. She described Kushner Cos as a "multibillion enterprise that is extremely financially strong".

Citigroup spokeswoman Danielle Romero-Apsilos told the Times Kushner Cos had been a bank client since before the election and that the relationship had no connection to Kushner's White House role.

Kushner had been an integral part of Trump's election campaign and, among White House advisors, is seen as something like a first among equals.

"Those involved in the process again have confirmed that there are dozens of people at Mr. Kushner's level whose process is delayed, that it is not uncommon for these clearance reviews to take this long in a new administration, and that the current backlogs are now being addressed", Mirijanian said. "As ..."

Kushner resigned as CEO of the real estate business in early January 2017, but he still retained some of his interest in the company.

Trump could simply grant a waiver for Kushner to receive a high-level security clearance despite the unresolved background investigation.

In the wake of the report, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Kushner "a valued member of the team, and he will continue to do the important work that he's been doing since he started in the administration". His real estate holdings and other investments are worth as much as $761 million, according to government ethics filings.

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