Jared Kushner, son-in-law of and former White House advisor to former President Donald Trump has long been under scrutiny for his being gifted $2 Billion from the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and now, the alleged corruption is starting to look even worse.
So, it wasn’t that difficult for people to put two and two together and infer that Kushner’s firm seemingly got $2 billion to invest—and at least $25 million to pocket regardless of performance!—as a thank-you for being so good to a human rights-abusing autocrat. And a new story from the Times suggests, somehow, even further shadiness than that.
The paper’s Kate Kelly and David Kirkpatrick report that “shortly before the 2020 election,” Kushner unveiled a government-sponsored program dubbed the Abraham Fund, which the Trump administration said would raise $3 billion for projects around the Middle East, capitalizing on the Abraham Accords, the diplomatic agreements normalizing relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. As part of that endeavor, Kushner and then Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin “crisscrossed the Middle East in the final months of the administration on trips that included trying to raise money for the project.”
Over on MSNBC, journalist Jonathan Alter broke the news that the MBS actually wanted to gift Kushner a significantly larger amount.
After host Ayman Mohyeldin aksed “What do you make of this payout from the Saudi wealth fund — that is directly managed, or at least overseen, by the crown prince — to Jared Kushner?,” Alter responded:
“First of all, I can tell you something tonight that has not been reported before that comes from sources inside the private equity industry, and that is the original number was ten billion and it was reduced. Ten billion was the original number that MBS and Jared Kushner were talking about.”
“Now, to put this in a little bit of context, Jared Kushner has no background in private equity. So this is an enormously corrupt payoff from a killer who just was quoted in the Atlantic recently saying that [Jamal] Khashoggi wouldn’t have even been in the top ten of people that he would have liked to have seen killed.”
Alter then described the Kushner scandal as the “worst” thing a presidential relative has ever done.
Again, the entire deal struck a lot of people odd, as Saudi officials were vary intent on not getting involved with Kushner’s crappy investment firm, but the MBS overruled them, leading many to wonder what exactly Kushner promised him.
More from Vanity fair:
(after Kushner’s not) having impressed would-be clients with his investing prowess, the panel that performs due diligence for the Saudi fund concluded that no one in their right mind would give the former first son-in-law a dime. Among other concerns, the panel noted that management was “inexperience[d],” that the kingdom would be responsible for “the bulk of the investment and risk,” that its fee seemed “excessive,” and that the firm’s operations were “unsatisfactory in all aspects.” Given those reservations, it warned that the country’s Public Investment Fund should stay far, far away from Kushner’s firm—a recommendation that was overturned by the fund’s board, which happens to be led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, i.e., the guy who approved a plan to kidnap, kill, and dismember a journalist via bone saw and benefited from Kushner’s unwavering support within the White House and reported insistence that the prince could “survive the outrage just as he [had] weathered past criticism.”