Timing is everything
President Trump's hardline stance on Qatar emerged not long after his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner's attempt to score a "half-billion dollar investment" from a Qatari billionaire fizzled, The Intercept reported Monday.
Trump in recent weeks has accused Qatar of funding terrorist activities and taken credit for the ongoing blockade several Gulf nations have imposed on Qatar. Kushner has reportedly "played a key behind-the scenes role in hardening the U.S. posture toward the embattled nation," The Intercept reported.
But before Kushner was involved in these talks, he was reportedly in negotiations with former Qatari prime minister and billionaire Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani to secure an investment as he worked to refinance the Kushner family's stake in a building on New York City's Fifth Avenue. The Intercept noted that Kushner and his family are "severely underwater" on the property, located at 666 Fifth Ave., and that "it is difficult to overstate just how important to Kushner the investment ... is for him, his company, and his family's legacy in real estate."
The deal between Thani and Kushner hasn't panned out, with some saying it's dead and others saying it's simply "on hold as the deal's mix of loans and equity was reconsidered." Either way, the existence of this deal and Trump's subsequent stance on Qatar raises serious questions, The Intercept contended:
If the deal is not entirely dead, that means Jared Kushner is on the one hand pushing to use the power of American diplomacy to pummel a small nation while on the other his firm is hoping to extract an extraordinary amount of capital from there for a failing investment. If, however, the deal is entirely dead, the pummeling may be seen as intimidating to other investors on the end of a Kushner Companies pitch. [The Intercept]
Read the full story at The Intercept.