Speed Reads


Trump and Kushner can still benefit from the $2.2. trillion coronavirus bill, despite Democratic safeguards

Democrats insisted on, and Republicans agreed to, language in a $2.2 trillion coronavirus financial rescue package that bars participation in a $500 billion loan program by any company controlled by the president, top White House officials, members of Congress, or their spouses, children, or children-in-law. But "even the fine print in a near-final 880-page version of the bill has fine print," The New York Times reports, and that provision, meant to block President Trump from profiting off the massive bill, is no exception.

"It turns out that the provision might not preclude funds from going to companies owned by the family of Mr. Trump's son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, while Mr. Trump's companies would not be barred from benefiting from other elements of the bill intended to help broad swaths of American business," the Times reports. Trump hotels, for example, will be eligible for the $350 billion in small-business loans or grants, thanks to lobbying by the hotel industry, and "the Trump Organization could also benefit from the $15 billion change to the tax code won by restaurants and retailers."

As for Kushner, the Times explains:

While the provision expressly bars such funds from going to companies controlled by "the spouse, child, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law" of the president and other officials, in order for the prohibition to kick in, the person in question would have to "directly or indirectly" own or control 20 percent or more of a company. Mr. Kushner rarely owns that much in his family firm's various real estate projects, according to a person familiar with the family's business arrangements. The ownership is usually divided between Mr. Kushner, his three siblings, his two parents and various outside investors. [The New York Times]

The various members of the Trump and Kushner families are presumably too wealthy to qualify for the $1,200 direct payments in the legislation, at least. Read more about the fine print at The New York Times.