Follow the money
Kushner Cos., the family business of President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, received a loan of $184 million last November from Apollo Global Management, a firm whose founder made several visits to the White House over the year, three people with knowledge of the matter told The New York Times.
Apollo's Joshua Harris met with Kushner multiple times to discuss infrastructure policy, and they also spoke about Harris possibly getting a job with the administration, the Times reports; this never came to fruition. The money from Apollo was used to refinance the mortgage on a Chicago skyscraper owned by Kushner Cos., and according to security filings, it was triple the size of an average property loan made by Apollo's real estate lending division. Kushner Cos. also received a $325 million loan last spring from Citigroup after Kushner met with Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat in the White House; a person with knowledge of the meeting told the Times they discussed financial and trade policy, not Kushner Cos.
"This is exactly why senior government officials, for as long back as I have any experience, don't maintain any active outside business interests," Don Fox, former acting director of the Office of Government Ethics, told the Times. "The appearance of conflicts of interest is simply too great." Kushner resigned as CEO of Kushner Cos. when he joined the White House last year, and while he sold a small portion of his stake to a trust run by his mother, government filings show he still has real estate holdings and other investments that could be worth as much as $761 million.
A spokesperson for Kushner's attorney Abbe Lowell did not dispute the meetings took place, and said Kushner has "taken no part of any business, loans, or projects with or for" the business since joining White House. Read more at The New York Times.