Trump predicted he would lose and blamed Jared Kushner and Covid testing

Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner (L) speaks, flanked by US President Donald Trump, during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus in April.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump predicted he would lose the November election, and placed the blame with his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, for his work coordinating the coronavirus testing effort, according to a scathing exposé of the president’s final days in office from the New York Times.

“I’m going to lose,” Mr Trump reportedly told Mr Kushner during debate preparations over the fall. “And it’s going to be your fault, because of the testing,” reiterating his regular, scientifically absurd complaint that too much coronavirus testing is bad because it reveals too many cases. The White House denies the exchange took place.

The investigation, based on interviews with more than two dozen current and former administration officials, painted a picture of a president having a full-blown meltdown because the pandemic was beginning to eclipse his political prospects.

That put Mr Kusher, tasked with troubleshooting the country’s coronavirus testing strategy and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), frequently at odds with Mr Trump, who often ignored his top scientific advisers’ advice and instead favored political considerations or crackpot theories from his then-adviser Dr. Scott W. Atlas, a Stanford neuroradiology professor with no training in infectious diseases who was recruited to the White House after pro-Trump appearances on Fox News.

Mr Kushner along with other counselors like Hope Hicks reportedly pushed the president for months to encourage mask-wearing, but were stymied because others in the White House worried the president’s base would view it as an impingement on their personal freedoms, even as their internal polling suggested otherwise. (After months of the pandemic, the president was spotted first wearing a mask in July during a visit to the Walter Reed military hospital, and there’s still no mask mandate, which experts estimate could save over 100,000 lives).

Others have criticized Mr Kushner’s testing regime for the opposite: that it failed to meet the moment as the virus spread across the country by being too ad hoc.

“It was entirely tactical troubleshooting and, to be fair, it was pretty successful, with the ventilators and this and that, but it was whack-a-mole,” an outside Republican who regularly worked with the White House told the Washington Post, in regards to Mr Kushner’s work to coordinate testing.

But the US still lacks a true long-term testing strategy, and Mr Kushner was derided inside the White House for bringing in the “Slim Suit” crowd, a group of young volunteers recruited from the world of finance and management consulting to help in his work.

They reportedly weren’t offered government laptops or emails, and their use of personal emails hampered their efforts to secure PPE for the country. Others, with little or no experience in public health, didn’t know basic FDA rules about acquiring PPE, and spent time Googling basic questions.

One, Max Kennedy, Jr., an associate at a private equity firm, filed a whistleblower complaint about the effort, accusing the White House of letting VIPs like Fox host Jeanine Pirro lobby them for PPE to go to favored hospitals, and pressuring volunteers to make a Covid model that showed a low casualty count, which the White House denies.

Cumulatively, the US testing effort has fallen well short of what politicians have promised, and what experts estimate is necessary to curb the pandemic. One of Mr Kushner’s signature efforts was a plan to implement drive-through testing around the country, but the federal government only created 500 temporary sites in 17 states in the past 10 months, an effort which often diverted national PPE stocks while frontline workers were using garbage bags for gowns and reusing face masks.

“The knock against Jared has always been that he’s a dilettante who will dabble in this and dabble in that without doing the homework or really engaging in a long-term, sustained, committed way, but will be there to claim credit if things go well and disappear if things go poorly,” a former senior administration told the Post. “And this is another example of that.”

The US also failed to deploy a working coronavirus test in the crucial early stages of the pandemic.

To this day, the country’s testing and tracing efforts are still woefully behind required benchmarks. Public health estimates said somewhere between 100,000 and 300,000 contact tracers needed to be monitoring the virus in the US, but there are only around 70,000, while the US still hasn’t reached the multiple millions of tests a day needed to get a proper picture of the pandemic.

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Kushner pardon revives ‘loathsome’ tale of tax evasion, sex

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Kushner pardon revives ‘loathsome’ tale of tax evasion, sex – Long Island Business News

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called it “one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes” he ever prosecuted as U.S. attorney.

After Charles Kushner discovered his brother-in-law was cooperating with federal authorities, the wealthy real estate executive and father of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared, hatched a scheme for revenge and intimidation.

Kushner hired a prostitute to lure his brother-in-law, then arranged to have the encounter in a New Jersey motel room recorded with a hidden camera and the recording sent to his own sister, the man’s wife. 

The scheme didn’t work. Kushner later pleaded guilty to tax evasion and making illegal campaign donations in a case tailor-made for tabloid headlines.

On Wednesday Trump pardoned Kushner as part of a late-hour clemency spree during the final days of his presidency that has included a slew of campaign aides and allies, among them four of the six Trump associates convicted in the Mueller investigation. He has granted clemency to nearly 50 people in the last week.

The White House in its announcement cited Kushner’s charitable work since he completed his sentence in 2006 as the reason he deserved clemency.

“This record of reform and charity overshadows Mr. Kushner’s conviction and 2 year sentence for preparing false tax returns, witness retaliation, and making false statements” to the Federal Election Commission, the White House said, adding that Kushner’s case had been championed by Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, and others.

Not mentioned: Kushner’s relationship to Jared Kushner, the senior Trump adviser who is married to Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, and who, inspired by his father’s time in prison, pushed Trump to back criminal justice reform legislation and has been an integral part of the administration’s clemency efforts.

Christie did not respond to a request for comment on Trump’s decision to pardon a man he’d sent to prison. But Christie, who headed Trump’s transition and has informally advised the president for years, has made clear that he believes the senior Kushner deserved it.

“Mr. Kushner pled guilty. He admitted the crimes,” Christie told PBS last year as he promoted a book that blamed the younger Kushner for his firing from Trump’s transition team. “And so what am I supposed to do as a prosecutor? I mean, if a guy hires a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, and videotapes it, and then sends the videotape to his sister to attempt to intimidate her from testifying before a grand jury, do I really need any more justification than that?”

He added: “I mean it’s one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I prosecuted when I was U.S. attorney. And I was U.S. attorney in New Jersey.”

Kushner eventually pleaded guilty to 18 counts including tax evasion and witness tampering. He was sentenced in 2005 to two years in prison — the most he could receive under a plea deal, but less than Christie had sought.

Kushner also agreed to pay $508,900 to the FEC for violating contribution regulations by failing to obtain an OK from partners to whom more than $500,000 in contributions were credited.

He has since resumed his career in real estate, including purchasing the famed Watchtower complex along the Brooklyn Bridge, the former headquarters for the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The younger Kushner has talked openly about how deeply his father’s imprisonment impacted his life. He was in his early 20s and a law and business school student in the mid-2000s when his father was sentenced and suddenly found himself having to run the family’s businesses while shuttling back and forth on weekends to see his father in Alabama.

“When you’re on the other side of the system, you feel so helpless,” Jared Kushner said in 2018. “I felt like, I was on this side of the system, so how can I try to do whatever I can do to try to be helpful to the people who are going through it” and deserve a second chance.

But Charles Kushner told The New York Times in 2018 that he wasn’t interested in clemency, saying he “would prefer not to have a pardon” because it would garner publicity.

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Donald Trump pardons former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner

US President Donald Trump has issued pardons and sentence commutations for 29 people, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law, in the latest burst of clemency in his final weeks at the White House.

The actions bring to nearly 50 the number of people whom Mr Trump in the last two days has granted clemency either by pardoning them or by commuting their sentences.

The pardons of Mr Manafort and Roger Stone, who months earlier had his sentence commuted by Mr Trump, underscore the president’s determination to use the power of his office in the final weeks to unravel the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and to come to the aid of associates he feels were wrongly pursued.

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s onetime presidential campaign chairman, was convicted as part of the special counsel’s Russia investigation. (AAP)
Roger Stone exits federal court Washington, Friday, November 15, 2019. Stone, longtime friend of President Donald Trump, was found guilty at his trial in federal court in Washington.
Roger Stone, a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, was found guilty at his trial in federal court in Washington. (AP)
Mr Trump has now pardoned four people convicted in that investigation, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Mr Manafort had been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for financial crimes related to his work in Ukraine and was among the first people charged as part of Mr Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
He was released to home confinement last May because of coronavirus concerns in the federal prison system.

Mr Manafort, in a tweet, thanked Mr Trump and lavished praise on the outgoing president, declaring that history would show he had accomplished more than any of his predecessors.

In this March 4, 2005 file photo, Charles B. Kushner, flanked by his wife, Seryl Beth, left, and his attorney Alfred DeCotiis arrives at the Newark Federal Court for sentencing in Newark, N.J.
In this March 4, 2005 file photo, Charles B. Kushner, flanked by his wife, Seryl Beth, left, and his attorney Alfred DeCotiis arrives at the Newark Federal Court for sentencing in Newark, New Jersey. (AP)

Mr Kushner is the father of Mr Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and a wealthy real estate executive who pleaded guilty years ago to tax evasion and making illegal campaign donations.

Mr Trump and the elder Mr Kushner knew each other from real estate circles and their children were married in 2009.

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Karlie Kloss and Joshua Kushner Buy $23.5 Million Miami Estate – Jewish Business News

Karlie Kloss and Joshua Kushner Buy $23.5 Million Miami Estate

Joshua Kushner and Karlie Kloss join Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in Florida.

Karlie Kloss Instagram Pic

Joshua Kushner and Karlie Kloss will be joining their in-laws Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump down in Miami. The couples have each bought estates down there with Joshua following big brother Jared snagging a $23.5 million new home for himself and model wife Karlie Kloss.

So being converts to Judaism and married to two brothers is not all that Ivanka Trump and Karlie Kloss have in common right now. The two models – Ivanka has been a model too – will both be settling in Florida after Donald Trump leaves office. This may be related to the fact that the Kushners, once scions of the New York real estate aristocracy, are not so popular there these days due to the family’s association with outgoing President Donald Trump.

Karlie Kloss Joshua Kushner House Zillow

New York and neighboring Connecticut and New Jersey are now solidly Blue states, supporting the Democratic Party and voted overwhelmingly to throw Donald Trump out of office.

According to the New York Post, the estate holds 24,860 square feet of land and has a two story mansion. The house has 15,000 square feet and eight bedrooms. It comes, of course, with a swimming pool and a wine cellar. Kloss and Kushner also paid to keep the furnishings.

Karlie Kloss and Joshua Kushner may need the space for their family as the couple is about to become parents for the first time.

But the purchase price of $23.5 million does not come close to the $30 million that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump paid for their new Miami digs located at Indian Creek Island known as the “Billionaire’s Bunker.”

Karlie Kloss Joshua Kushner House Zillow

But Karlie Kloss may not get on so well with her in laws. The model famously endorsed Joe Biden for President, which must have angered the Kushners who and Ivanka Trump.

Read more about: Ivanka Trump, Joshua Kushner, Karlie Kloss

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Jared Kushner in Trouble While Daddy Charles Kushner’s Kushner Companies Looks to Dump $800 Million in Properties – Jewish Business News

Jared Kushner in Trouble While Daddy Charles Kushner’s Kushner Companies Looks to Dump $800 Million in Properties

Jared Kushner’s fronds may be deserting the sinking ship.

Jared Kushner’s family business Kushner Companies has placed 10 of its multi-family rental properties in Baltimore on the market. These properties are estimated to fetch as much as $800 million, The Real Deal Reports. At the same time the Kushners may be looking at a dark future in the business world after Donald Trump leaves office, and Jared Kushner just might end up joining daddy Charles Kushner as a convicted felon.

The latest scandal embroiling the Trump/Kushners revolves around possible bribes offered in exchange for pardons. The New York Times has revealed that Abbe Lowell, a lawyer with ties to Jared Kushner was investigated by the Justice Department in a cash for clemencies scheme. The allegation is that billionaire real estate developer Sanford Diller offered to make campaign contributions if a friend of his were to receive clemency. The friend in question is Hugh L. Baras, a psychologist sentenced to 30 months in prison for tax evasion.

This may be one of the reasons why President Trump has been mulling issuing pardons to his children and son-in-law. But no pardon could help Jared Kushner and his family hide from the fallout from their involvement with Donald Trump’s Presidency.

Business Insider has offered a plethora of examples of how the Trump scandals will affect Kushner Companies’ business in the future. It spoke with a New York big time real estate developer and former close business associate of Jared Kushner’s, Asher Abehsera.

Abehsera said that he has not even spoken with Kushner since the first son-in-law become a senior White House advisor in January 2017. Any yet Abehsera says that he is suffering from a backlash due to his past close connection with the Kushners.

“I was quickly accused of being the wrong kind of guy to do this project, and that Jared will secretly be in the deal,” Abehsera said. “Neither Jared nor his family are in any way, shape, or form involved, and if they asked to come into the deal I would say, ‘No, you can’t participate.’”

Business Insider also reported on how over the last two years real-estate investment firm Cadre, which was founded by Jared Kushner and his brother Joshua Kushner, lost out on potential lucrative deals because of the family’s ties to President Trump. The publication cited sources as saying that people fear that any connection to Jared Kushner could lead to a subpoena to testify about any number civil suits and criminal investigations currently underway involving either Mr. Kushner or the Trumps.

Kushner Companies denied this in a statement saying, “Any inference that Kushner [Companies] lacks partnership opportunities … is nothing short of false. We are proud of our many partners and banking institutions who have remained loyal and true to the Kushner family and to Kushner Companies.”

It is obviously just speculation at this point, but the loss of any influence or protections from their association with Donald Trump the moment which he leaves office – pardons not withstanding – may be why Kushner Companies is selling right now. That and recent scandals over Jared’s taking advantage of the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), channeling millions to his own companies in Baltimore and evicting Baltimore tenants hurting from the Corona crisis recession from their homes, may be why Kushner Companies is pulling out of the market there.

Kushner Companies president Laurent Morali told The Real Deal that the company bought the properties nearly 10 years ago and is listing them because they reached the end of their investment time horizon. He said the decision to sell was part of an agreement with investment partners, whom he declined to name, and not due to any concerns over future blowback from their ties to Donald Trump.

Some of the properties for sale were among those belonging to the Kushners investigated by Maryland authorities for violating state imposed eviction moratoriums.

Even if Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump receive Presidential pardons and these pardons are upheld as constitutional, the two will still need to spend a lot of money fighting a multitude of possible state criminal charges as well as civil suits. Maybe they will get some of that $800 million to do so.

Read more about: Asher Abehsera, Charles Kushner Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner

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Jared Kushner says black people must ‘want to be successful’

Washington: Presidential adviser Jared Kushner said on Monday that President Donald Trump wants to help black people in America, but they have to “want to be successful” for his policies to work.

“President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about, but he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful,” Kushner said on Fox & Friends.

White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.Credit:AP

Kushner, who is also Trump’s son-in-law, also criticised prominent people who raised their voices after the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody, but then didn’t follow through and work to find ways to improve the lives of Black people in America.

“You saw a lot of people who were just virtue signalling — they go on Instagram and cry, or they would, you know, put a slogan on their jersey or write something on a basketball court,” Kushner said.

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Jared Kushner Collapses Into Babble When Asked About Pandemic Strategy : Health

If the Dems think they have a better strategy why don’t they reveal it?

They have been. Since March. Do you people ever know what the hell you’re talking about?

All I’ve heard is mandatory masks nationwide but most states are already doing this.

Very few states are doing this. Mandatory masks, actual lockdowns, testing, and contact tracing are needed.

I feel like we learn to live with the virus for now.

Because the GOP has failed to govern or even care.

This is a deadly pandemic, not a cold.

It’s not going away any time soon and most countries are dealing with it and experiencing surges.

No. Most aren’t dealing with it and experiencing surges. You know what “most” means right?

It would go away if the POTUS and his party would stop being malicious criminals and govern.

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