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Tag: jared kushner

#EndorseThis: Kimmel Reveals What Trump's Own Family Thinks Of Him

Jimmy Kimmel has been reading Confidence Man by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, and the late night comic was amused to learn that Trump intended to fire daughter-bride Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, who were both White House advisers, on Twitter.

“Haberman wrote that Trump was racist. He assumed staffers who weren’t white at the White House were waiters,” noted Kimmel. “He was homophobic. He was transphobic. He had problems dealing with female leaders of other countries. He called Angela Merkel a ‘bitch.’”

It isn't just normal Americans who were appalled by Trump. So were those closest to him.

“According to this book, everyone who worked at the White House ― including his family ― thought Trump was a dangerous, unpredictable child,” Kimmel said. Then, calling them out, "“On behalf of all of us, I just want to say ‘thank you’ to those brave men and women who kept that information to themselves and away from the American people who could have removed him from office."

Watch the entire segment below:


Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Trump's Secret Mar-A-Lago Files: The Unanswered Questions

  • 1.Why did Trump choose to hide certain specific files and not others at Mar-a-Lago? What were the criteria that Trump used to keep some files concealed and not others? Who selected those files? Did Trump consult or direct anyone in his selection of secret files? Trump was notorious for being too impatient to read his briefing papers, even after they had been drastically shortened and simplified. Is there the slightest evidence that he spirited these papers away so that he could consult or study them? Who besides Trump knew of the presence of the files he had concealed at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 2. Mar-a-Lago has an infamous reputation for being open to penetration even by foreign spies. In 2019, the FBI arrested a Chinese woman who had entered the property with electronic devices. She was convicted of trespassing, lying to the Secret Service, and sentenced and served eight-months in a federal prison, before being deported to China. Have other individuals with possible links to foreign intelligence operations been present at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 3. Did members of Trump's Secret Service detail have knowledge of his secret storage of the files at Mar-a-Lago? What was the relationship of the Secret Service detail to the FBI? Did the Secret Service, or any agent, disclose information about the files to the FBI?
  • 4. Trump's designated representatives to the National Archives are Kash Patel and John Solomon, co-conspirators in the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016, the Ukraine missiles-for-political dirt scandal that led to the first impeachment in 2019, and the coup of 2020. Neither has any professional background in handling archival materials. Patel, a die-hard Trump loyalist whose last job in the administration was as chief of staff to the Acting Secretary of Defense, was supposedly involved in Trump’s “declassification” of some files. Patel has stated, “Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves."
  • The White House counsel failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings, but that doesn’t mean the information wasn’t declassified.” If Pat Cipollone, the White House legal counsel, did not “generate the paperwork,” was he or anyone on his staff aware at all of the declassifications? The White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons resigned his post in December 2020. Did his successor, who held the position for a month, while Trump was consumed with plotting his coup, ever review the material found in Trump’s concealed files for declassification? Or did Patel review the material? Can Patel name any individual who properly reviewed the supposed declassification?
  • 5. Why did Trump keep his pardon of Roger Stone among his secret files? Was it somehow to maintain leverage over Stone? What would that leverage be? Would it involve Stone's role as a conduit with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers during the coup? Or is there another pardon in Trump’s files for Stone, a secret pardon for his activities in the January 6th insurrection? Because of the sweeping nature of the pardon clause, pardons can remain undisclosed (until needed). Pardons are self-executing, require no justification and are not subject to court review beyond the fact of their timely execution. In other words, a court may verify the pardon was valid in time but has no power to review appropriateness. A pardon could even be oral but would need to be verifiable by a witness. Do the files contain secret pardons for Trump himself, members of his family, members of the Congress, and other co-conspirators?
  • 6.Was the FBI warrant obtained to block the imminent circulation or sale of information in the files to foreign powers? Does the affidavit of the informant at Mar-a-Lago, which has not been released, provide information about Trump’s monetization that required urgency in executing the warrant? Did Trump monetize information in any of the files? How? With whom? Any foreign power or entity? Was the Saudi payment from its sovereign wealth fund for the LIV Golf Tournament at Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club for a service that Trump rendered, an exchange of anything of value or information that was in the files? If it involved information in the files was it about nuclear programs? Was it about the nuclear program of Israel? How much exactly was the Saudi payment for the golf tournament? The Saudi sovereign wealth fund gave Jared Kushner and former Trump Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin $2 billion for their startup hedge fund, Affinity Partners. Do the Saudis regard that investment as partial payment for Trump’s transfer of nuclear information? Were Kushner or Mnuchin aware of the secret files at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 7.Did Trump destroy any of the files? If so, when? Did those files contain incriminating information? Did he destroy any files after he received the June subpoena?
  • 8.Were any of the secrets of our allies compromised? Has the U.S. government provided an inventory of breaches or potential breaches to our allies?
  • 9.Does the resort maintain a copying machine near the classified documents that Trump hid? Were any of the documents copied or scanned? Are Trump’s documents at Mar-a-Lago originals or copies? Were any copies shown or given to anyone?
  • 10.Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb has revealed that a video surveillance system covers the places where Trump hid the files at Mar-a-Lago, and that the system is connected to a system at his other residences at the Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey and Trump Tower in New York City. According to Bobb, Trump and members of his family observed the FBI search and seizure of his files at Mar-a-Lago, “actually able to see the whole thing” through their surveillance system. Who has that surveillance system recorded entering the rooms where the files were kept?

Murdoch To Kushner On Election Night 2020: Arizona 'Isn't Even Close'

Although Fox News is facing a major defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems for promoting the false and totally debunked claim that Dominion’s equipment was used to help steal the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump, some members of Fox News’ hard news division did some accurate reporting on Election Night. The Fox News decision desk, in fact, accurately called Arizona for now-President Joe Biden on Election Night 2020, and according to former White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner’s new book, Breaking History: A White House Memoir, Rupert Murdoch had no doubt that Biden was the legitimate winner in Arizona.

After Fox News called Arizona for Biden, Murdoch, according to the book, told Kushner: “The numbers are ironclad. It’s not even close.” Subsequent vote recounts in Arizona demonstrated that Murdoch, in that case, was absolutely right: Biden, not Trump, was the clear winner in Arizona.

Biden’s victory in Arizona, like his victory in Georgia, was among the bombshells of 2020’s presidential election. For many years, Arizona was a deep red state and was synonymous with the conservative politics of Sen. Barry Goldwater and his successor, Sen. John McCain. But in recent years, Arizona has evolved into a swing state. Both of Arizona’s two U.S. senators, Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, are centrist Democrats, although its term-limited governor, Doug Ducey, is a right-wing Republican.


Breaking History has an August 23 release date on Amazon, and previews of Kushner’s book have come from the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and The Guardian’s Martin Pengelly. In an article published by the Times on July 25, Haberman reported that according to the book, Kushner was secretly treated for thyroid cancer in 2019.

Pengelly’s reporting, in an article published by The Guardian on July 28, focuses heavily on what Kushner’s book has to say about Arizona. In Breaking History, Kushner says of Biden’s Arizona victory, “The shocking projection brought our momentum to a screeching halt. It instantly changed the mood among our campaign’s leaders, who were scrambling to understand the network’s methodology…. I dialed Rupert Murdoch and asked why Fox News had made the Arizona call before hundreds of thousands of votes were tallied. Rupert said he would look into the issue, and minutes later, he called back.”

During that conversation, Murdoch told Kushner, “Sorry Jared, there is nothing I can do. The Fox News data authority says the numbers are ironclad. He says it won’t be close.’”

Trump was furious when Fox News called Arizona for Biden, and he continues to make the false claim that Arizona was stolen from him through voter fraud — a false claim that former television news anchor and far-right conspiracy theorist Kari Lake, the frontrunner in Arizona’s 2022 GOP gubernatorial primary, has been campaigning on.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Ivanka And Kushner Seeking Safe Distance From Donald Trump's Disgrace

Neither the former president’s eldest daughter and former White House aide Ivanka Trump nor his son-in-law and ex-adviser Jared Kushner want any further involvement in Donald Trump’s Big Lie-fueled political operations. They have reportedly distanced themselves from him, according to a new Axios report.

In that report, reporter Jonathan Swan disclosed that former president Trump — angered by the litany of explosive revelations brought to light by the House Select Committee hearings — has cut ties with nearly every ally and aide who didn’t embrace his false claims of election fraud.

Ivanka Trump and Kushner both served as senior advisers during his presidency, but neither of them actually bought into Trump’s lies of a stolen election, which most of his allies — including those who would later denounce him — initially disseminated, according to the New York Times.

The Times report indicated that Ivanka had refused to speak at the January 6 rally on the White House Ellipse, but accompanied Trump to prevent him from clashing with former Vice President Mike Pence.

“As rioters rampaged through the Capitol, [Ivanka] ran up and down the stairs in the West Wing from her office to the Oval Office, hoping to persuade her father to issue stronger statements calling off the attackers," the Times reported.

Ivanka told House Select Committee investigators during her April deposition that former Attorney General Bill Barr’s assessment that no amount of fraud was sufficient to overturn her father’s loss “affected my perspective,” so “I accepted what he was saying.”

Trump mildly rebuked Ivanka on social media after her deposition testimony was aired in July to millions of Americans during prime-time hearings. "Ivanka Trump was not involved in looking at, or studying, Election results," Trump wrote.

The Times noted that Kushner told aides that he had seen the writing on the wall after vote tabulation of the 2020 elections commenced and knew Trump would lose. The White House’s power couple began washing their hands of Trump’s presidency while the former president devised plots to overturn his loss, the Times claimed.

Sources said that Kushner had another concern: Rudy Giuliani. "To Mr. Kushner, his father-in-law's decision to turn once again to Mr. Giuliani was a red flag. As far as Mr. Kushner was concerned, Mr. Giuliani was an erratic schemer who had already gotten Mr. Trump impeached once because of his political intriguing in Ukraine, and nothing good would come of the former mayor's involvement in fighting the election results," reported the Times.

Kushner tried to broker peace between Trump and Pence in the aftermath of the Capitol attack, according to Salon. However, the former president insisted on “waging war on Mr. Biden and the system,” repeatedly claiming without evidence that victory in the election was stolen from him.

In the aftermath of the first series of select committee hearings on January 6, which outlined his alleged crimes, Trump has reportedly ramped up plans to grab the mantle of president again in 2024.

The former president has excommunicated from his re-election plans and inner circle the aides who distanced themselves from his bogus 2020 election claims, even those who once had his ear. This growing list includes former senior adviser Hope Hicks, former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and former campaign manager Bill Stepien, according to Axios.

Although Ivanka and Kushner attended Trump’s farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews and flew to Florida with him aboard Air Force One after that, the couple has since moved on with their lives.

Ivanka Trump Testifies That She  Rejects Father's Election Fraud Claim

By Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump's daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump told a congressional panel investigating the U.S. Capitol attack that even she does not believe the former president's false claims that his 2020 election defeat resulted from widespread voting fraud.

Ivanka Trump, one of her father's most trusted allies during his four years in the White House, appeared in a video deposition shown during the first in a series of congressional hearings by a House of Representatives select committee investigating the deadly January 6, 2021, attack.

"I respect Attorney General [William] Barr. So I accepted what he was saying," Ivanka Trump told congressional investigators.

And what Barr was saying, Ivanka testified, was that his Justice Department had discovered no significant fraud to support President Trump's claim - one the former president is still making - that massive voter fraud in several key states caused the 2020 election to be "stolen" from him.

The committee showed a video of Barr's appearance before panel investigators. In that video, Barr called his former boss' fraud claims "bullshit"

The former president has been more successful in persuading Republican voters of this view. A Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Wednesday found that 58 percent of Republicans viewed the outcome of the 2020 election to be the result of fraud.

Also shown testifying was Ivanka husband, Jared Kushner, another of the former president's top aides. In the video, the president's son-in-law mentioned "whining," referring to top Trump aides threatening to resign because of the January 6 attack.

The January 6, 2021, riot followed shortly after Trump gave an incendiary speech to thousands of supporters outside the White House, repeating his false claims of a stolen 2020 election and urging them to march on the Capitol and "fight like hell."

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Will Dunham)

House Democrat Predicts 'Disturbing' New Evidence At Select Panel Hearings

Almost a year after its formation, the committee of lawmakers investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol is ready to make its case public, marking a turning point in — as the committee’s vice-chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), put it — “one of the single most important congressional investigations in history.”

On Thursday, the House Select Committee announced it would hold the first of eight televised hearings on June 9, in prime time at 8. PM ET, when viewers will hear from live witnesses and even watch pre-taped depositions of key figures, including members of former President Trump’s own family -- namely Ivanka Trump, his daughter, and Jared Kushner, her husband.

In its statement, the committee said the hearings would “present previously unseen material documenting January 6th, receive witness testimony, preview additional hearings, and provide the American people a summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.”

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), a former impeachment manager, echoed the committee’s statement and specified that the evidence to be unveiled at the upcoming hearings would be “disturbing,” according to CNN.

"This is our democracy. This was the greatest assault on American democracy in my lifetime. The world is watching to see how we respond to this," Cicilline told CNN.

"There will be, I think, substantial evidence that really demonstrates the coordination and the planning and the effort, despite the fact that they understood that Donald Trump lost the election and even once the insurrection began and the violence began, there were ongoing efforts to persuade the former President to stop the violence and call on folks to go home, and he refused to do it," the lawmaker from Rhode Island added.

The hearings mark the culmination of a nearly year-long exhaustive investigation conducted in private, despite a succession of minor leaks. The committee has invited over 1,000 people for depositions, collected and reviewed over 125,000 records, and pursued nearly 500 leads via its confidential tip linme. It has also reviewed text messages from within Trump’s inner circle plotting to keep Trump in power despite his loss; examined memos from pro-Trump attorneys devising blueprints for an electoral coup; and listened to audio recordings of leading Republicans in Congress privately expressing their frustrations at Trump for inciting a mob of his supporters into storming the Capitol.

In its most difficult undertaking yet, the House committee must now bring the American people into its deliberations; share key findings and facts with them; depose witnesses in front of them; and build a compelling narrative of how aggressively Trump and his allies moved to overturn the results of the 2020 elections — and how close they came to succeeding.

To tell this story, the committee will have to use testimony obtained from Trump Administration insiders, including, as reported by the Washington Post, a former White House aide who has given the congressional panel a detailed reconstruction of meetings and other activities in the White House.

Although the end result of the committee’s efforts remains in question — what with public opinions of Trump having long since solidified into competing blocs difficult to break through — members of the committee still believe that the American people should know about the events that preceded and followed the deadly Capitol attack.

“It’s important that we tell the American public, to the best we are able, exactly what happened,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), one of seven Democrats on the committee. “The public need to understand the stakes for our system of government, and we need to devise potential changes in legislation or procedures to protect ourselves in future.”

Why Did Major Newspapers Chase Hunter Biden And Airbrush Jared Kushner?

Several of the nation’s leading newspapers failed to thoroughly scrutinize a potentially major scandal involving a president’s close family member using influence in the White House to establish lucrative international business deals.

In this case, the person trying to enrich himself s is none other than former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose multibillion-dollar sweetheart deal with Saudi Arabia has gotten just a fraction of the attention devoted to baseless stories about Hunter Biden.

The contrast could not be clearer. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter never held any official role in the Obama or Biden administrations, but Republicans and their media allies are investigating his business dealings — including those conducted during a period in which it appeared as if his father had permanently retired from politics.

Jared Kushner, on the other hand, had an “unrealistically broad policy portfolio” in his father-in-law’s administration, ranging from health care to foreign policy. Kushner, who served as one of Trump’s closest White House advisers, even reportedly led the administration to its early determination to ignore the COVID-19 pandemic in Democratic-leaning states. And, contrary to Hunter Biden’s private sector work, Kushner’s current business ventures are happening as his father-in-law tries to lay the groundwork for a political comeback in 2024.

Saudi Arabia’s $2 Billion Investment In Kushner’s Firm Raises Serious Questions

Last Sunday, The New York Times reported that, just six months after leaving the White House in 2021, Kushner had secured a $2 billion investment from the Saudi Arabian government to capitalize his newly formed private equity firm Affinity Partners. In addition to comprising the majority of the firm’s initial portfolio, the deal will also pay $25 million in annual fees to Affinity.

Professional Saudi investment analysts had internally questioned the decision to inject capital into the Kushner-led venture, citing Kushner’s inexperience in private equity and the financial risks involved — only for the fund’s board headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the despotic heir apparent in Riyadh and a political ally of Kushner and Trump, to order that the deal should go ahead.

Documents also show Saudi investment fund staff explaining that the deal was made “to form a strategic relationship” with Kushner, rather than on the basis of its financial merit — an outright admission of a political relationship.

During the Trump administration, Kushner helped broker $110 billion in arms sales to the Saudi government, to assist in the ruthless Saudi military intervention in Yemen, while he also provided political cover to the regime after the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Times reported that ethics experts argue the deal “creates the appearance of potential payback for Mr. Kushner’s actions in the White House — or of a bid for future favor if Mr. Trump seeks and wins another presidential term in 2024.”

USA Today Rewrites Recent History To Scandalize Biden Family

By an eerie coincidence, USA Today also published last Sunday a profile of Valerie Biden Owens, the president’s sister, which appeared on the front page of Monday’s print edition under the headline “President's sister defends 'Joey,' Hunter.”

“Not since John F. Kennedy has a president been surrounded by such a large and close-knit clan, one that has been a source of both emotional support and political trouble for the commander in chief,” wrote the paper’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page. She further asserted, without a hint of irony, “For years, Donald Trump has hammered Joe Biden with accusations of corruption involving multimillion-dollar contracts that son Hunter and brother James won in China and Ukraine when Biden was vice president.”

Even if the Times hadn’t just published the story about Kushner’s deal with the Saudi regime, it would be simply astonishing that Page could write such dramatic statements about the perception of impropriety in the Biden family without acknowledging the well-known history of Trump’s children making millions in overseas business deals during his presidency.

Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner worked in the White House with direct access to sweeping policy portfolios, and Trump’s adult sons were involved with his political campaign while also ostensibly managing his business as his proxies. And, of course, Trump himself used the presidency to routinely patronize his hotels and resorts at government expense, siphoning millions in taxpayer dollars through his properties in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and even Scotland.

If Page wanted to tell a story about the president’s family serving as a source of “political trouble for the commander in chief,” her fixation on President Biden’s sister is a perplexing choice.

In the past five days, USA Today still has not published anything in its print edition about Kushner’s deal with the Saudi government.

Washington Post Pushes Republican Talking Points About Hunter Biden

Also last Sunday, The Washington Post’s print edition ran a story about Republican accusations against Hunter Biden, titled “Unraveling the tale of Hunter Biden and $3.5 million from Russia.” The story, which first appeared online two days earlier, made the mistake of prioritizing the misleading Republican attacks over explaining the truth of the matter.

For example, after opening with two accusatory quotes from Trump and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who had every reason to launder their political smear through the press, the article waited until seven paragraphs later to actually declare, “We found no evidence that Hunter Biden was part of those transactions.” So, what exactly was the news value of reprinting these Republican lies?

Two articles the Post published in response to the Times story about Kushner’s actual deal with the Saudis could have been useful counterweights to the Republican smear campaign currently targeting the president’s son.

Post staff writer Aaron Blake wrote an article titled, “After Trump’s contentious courtship of the Saudis, $2B for Jared Kushner,” which detailed how Kushner may have secured his financial backers through political favors. Furthermore, national correspondent Philip Bump also wrote a piece titled “You say a president’s relative is part of iffy international deals?” which confronted the right-wing fixation with Hunter Biden by juxtaposing it with the seemingly obvious corruption inherent in Kushner’s investment firm.

But, unfortunately, these articles appeared only online and not in the paper’s print edition, where prime real estate was reserved for rehashing attacks on Biden.

The Wall Street Journal Hammers “Hunter’s Laptop,” But Remains Silent On Jared

The Wall Street Journal, the quasi-respectable news operation of the Murdoch media empire, has not run any articles on Kushner’s business deals. However, opinion writer Holman W. Jenkins Jr. ran a column in Thursday’s print edition titled “Media Bias and Hunter’s Laptop,” with the somewhat ironic declaration, “The press won’t claw back its credibility until it admits why it buried the story.”

In the past, the Journal’s news side actually helped to debunk Republican accusations against Joe Biden regarding his son’s business deals, during the controversy over Trump’s attempted extortion of the Ukrainian government in an effort to create political dirt against the Biden family. However, the opinion side summarily ignored it at the time.

Methodology

Media Matters searched articles in the Factiva database for The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and USA Today for the term “Kushner” and any of the terms “Saudi,” “crown prince,” “Salman,” “billion,” or “fund” within the headline or lead paragraph from April 8, 2022, through April 13, 2022. We also searched articles in the Factiva database for the same newspapers for the term “Hunter” in the headline or lead paragraph during the same time period.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters. Research contributions from Rob Savillo.