Home of all bad ideas

Even Rex Tillerson told Kushner he had no business meddling with US foreign policy. (Neither did Tillerson, but giving big policy jobs to CEOs didn’t start with Trump.)

Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was confronted by two of the most senior US government officials for mixing his personal interests with US foreign policy, according to a new book.

Kushner, an envoy to the Middle East for his father-in-law, is said to have been robustly challenged by both Rex Tillerson, then secretary of state, and Gary Cohn, formerly Trump’s top economic adviser.

The confrontations are detailed in Kushner Inc by the journalist Vicky Ward, who also describes interference in foreign relations by Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump.

The Guardian’s been reading it.

Ward reports that Tillerson blamed Kushner for Trump’s abrupt endorsement of a provocative blockade and diplomatic campaign against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and several allies in June 2017. The US has thousands of troops stationed in Qatar.

Tillerson “told Kushner that his interference had endangered the US”, an unidentified Tillerson aide tells Ward.

And then there’s that 666 Fifth Avenue thing…

Meanwhile, Cohn is said to have rebuked Kushner in January 2017 after it was revealed Kushner had dined with executives from the Chinese financial corporation Anbang, which was considering investing in the Kushner family’s troubled tower at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

“You’ve got to be crazy,” Cohn is said to have told Kushner in front of others. Kushner met the executives around the time he hosted Chinese government officials at the Fifth Avenue tower. The building was eventually refinanced by a Qatari-backed investment fund.

Well he needed the money. What’s he supposed to do, not use his wife’s daddy’s theft of the presidency in his own financial interest?

Ward’s book portrays Kushner and Ivanka Trump as relentlessly ambitious operators who are loathed by many forced to work with them. She reports that White House staffers mocked Kushner as the “secretary of everything” for his wide-ranging meddling and derided Ivanka Trump’s team as Habi – “home of all bad ideas”.

Other than that, they’re a lovely pair.

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