JUST IN: Kushner’s Real Estate Firm Bailed Out By Foreign Entity

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It’s not as if anyone believes the president’s son-in-law, a man with absolutely no experience in foreign diplomacy, is going to suddenly solve the crisis of tension in the Middle East, but sending him out to do so amidst scrutiny over his business ties in the region seems particularly clueless and shady.

This point was made far sharper than ever on Tuesday when it was revealed that the country of Qatar discovered it had “unwittingly” bailed Kushner’s real estate company out of a bad business deal. In the government’s capital, Doha, efforts are now being made to keep a much tighter rein on its money thanks to Kushner’s relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Reuters reports that:

‘Brookfield, a global property investor in which the Qatari government has placed investments, struck a deal last year that rescued the Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue tower in Manhattan from financial straits.

‘The bailout, in which Doha played no part and first learned about in the media, has prompted a rethink of how the gas-rich kingdom invests money abroad via its giant sovereign wealth fund, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.’

Questions were raised previously when Kushner backed the Saudi blockade of Qatar just months after the Qatari government turned down a request to invest in Kushner’s real estate business. The ethical considerations around that move by the Trump administration were enormous, but now the questions get even more muddied.

‘The country has decided that the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) will aim to avoid putting money in funds or other investment vehicles it does not have full control over, according to the sources, who are familiar with the QIA’s strategy.

‘“Qatar started looking into how its name got involved into the deal and found out it was because of a fund it co-owned,” said one of the sources. “So QIA ultimately triggered a strategy revamp.”’

The property has been a bad business deal and a problem for his real estate company almost since it was purchased. He and his company stood to lose millions from the bad investment.

‘Kushner was chief executive of Kushner Companies when it acquired 666 Fifth Avenue in 2007 for $1.8 billion, a record at the time for a Manhattan office building. It has been a drag on his family’s real estate company ever since.

‘The debt-laden skyscraper was bailed out by Brookfield last August, when it took a 99-year lease on the property, paying the rent for 99 years upfront. Financial terms were not disclosed.’

Featured image via Flickr by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under a Creative Commons license