Speed Reads

white house drama

Report: Foreign officials discussed ways to manipulate Jared Kushner

Officials in several countries, including Mexico, Israel, China, and United Arab Emirates, privately discussed ways they could influence President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, finding leverage in his family's business arrangements and Kushner's lack of government experience, current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter told The Washington Post.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster reportedly learned about the contacts Kushner had with foreign officials, which he did not set up through the National Security Council or officially report, and these officials' private discussions on Kushner's vulnerability, during intelligence briefings. U.S. officials told the Post it's unclear if any of these countries acted on their discussions.

Officials also said these contacts with foreign governments are one of the reasons why Kushner has been unable to obtain a permanent security clearance, and his lack of foreign policy experience and business debt have always been viewed as issues. While overseeing the Trump campaign, Kushner was also running his family business, Kushner Cos., which owns the building at 666 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan. The company refinanced the building during the Great Recession, and because a $1.2 billion debt payment is due in January 2019, Kushner Cos. has been trying to secure foreign money for the project.