like father like son
March 20, 2019

Those who have been keeping up with Jared Kushner, his family real estate development business, and their $1.8 billion purchase of a Manhattan building don't have the full story, Kushner's father, Charles, writes in a Washington Post op-ed published Wednesday night.

Kushner took over management of Kushner Companies in 2008, after his father went to prison for tax evasion and witness tampering. In 2007, Kushner Companies purchased 666 Fifth Ave. in New York City for a record $1.8 billion, thinking "the parts of the 1.5-million-square-foot building were worth more than the whole, and splitting it into retail and office components would create value of more than $2.5 billion," Charles Kushner writes.

The global financial crisis hit the next year, and "projected office rents for 666 Fifth Ave. were cut in half," Kushner said. Still, they managed to structure the debt so they could sell off half the retail component, and last year the company completed a $1.3 billion, 99-year land lease to Brookfield Asset Management. Charles Kushner denied reports that the company was ever on the brink of collapse, and that he sought foreign money to pay off a $1.2 billion mortgage.

Charles Kushner praised his son, who left the company in 2017 to join the Trump administration as a senior adviser. Jared has divested from more than 80 partnerships "at a substantial financial sacrifice," Kushner said, and his "service to the country has brought unprecedented scrutiny of the Kushner Companies" and because of that, "we have passed up many business opportunities that we normally would have pursued." Read the entire op-ed at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

February 20, 2018

In an interview Tuesday with India's CNBC TV18, Donald Trump Jr. praised the "spirit" of people living in poverty in India. The eldest son of President Trump made the remarks during a press tour promoting luxury Trump Tower apartments being built in New Delhi.

"I don't mean to be glib about it," Trump Jr. said, "but you can see the poorest of the poor [in India], and there's still a smile on a face." He continued: "It's a different spirit that you don't see in other parts of the world, where people walk around so solemn.”

The president's son went on to say that the unbending positivity of even the poorest people in India "speaks to the future potential of what this country can do." Trump Jr. said that at first, he "couldn't understand" the resilient attitudes, but after visiting India several times he realized, "It's not a show."

Trump Jr. added that he was well aware of the "hardships" the poorest people in India face, but he insisted that "there is something that is different about the people here that I have not seen to the same level in other parts of the emerging world." Watch below. Kelly O'Meara Morales

February 1, 2018

On Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. bashed the press over its coverage of a Republican-authored memo that claims the FBI improperly surveilled the Trump campaign in 2016. The FBI and the Justice Department object to the memo's release, claiming it is factually incomplete and could imperil intelligence sources.

The president's eldest son took to Twitter to vent about the backlash the memo has provoked, responding to a tweet from NBC News' Andrea Mitchell that asked how the White House could "justify" releasing the memo given the FBI's public rebuke of its contents. Trump Jr. shot back, claiming the press "only likes their information 'leaked,'" so that's why they must be objecting to a memo "released openly from Congress."

He also happened to make a pretty excellent — albeit almost certainly unintentional — joke about the marijuana-induced demise of America:

For the record: The Washington Post's motto is actually "Democracy Dies in Darkness." Kelly O'Meara Morales

January 29, 2018

President Trump's least favorite FBI employee resigned Monday, but one member of the Trump family isn't totally thrilled: Donald Trump Jr.

NBC News reported Monday that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe stepped down, adding that McCabe would remain on the bureau's payroll until March. The president's eldest son took issue with that delay, complaining that keeping McCabe until March means Americans will have to pay for McCabe's pension. Previous reports indicated that McCabe had long planned on retiring in the spring — at which point he would be eligible for retirement benefits — regardless of Trump's criticisms of him.

Trump Jr. went on to hypothesize that McCabe's resignation is a preemptive defense against the possible release of a controversial memo authored by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), which alleges that the FBI improperly surveilled the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. Fox News and various news organizations reported that McCabe had been "removed" from his position. Kelly O'Meara Morales

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