Jared Kushner tried and failed to secure a $500m loan from one of Qatar's richest businessmen, before pushing his father-in-law to toe a hard line with the country, it has been alleged.
This intersection between Mr Kushner’s real estate dealings and his father-in-law’s international issues highlights the difficulties of an administration besiged with an unprecedented number of conflicts of interest.
Early in his real estate career, Mr Kushner purchased a building at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York for $1.8bn – a record-setting deal at the time.
These days, however, more than a quarter of the office space in the building is vacant. According to The New York Times, the building has not generated enough to pay its debts in several years, forcing Kushner Companies to cover the multimillion-dollar difference.
In 2015 – while Donald Trump was firing up his presidential campaign – Mr Kushner was working with his biological father to keep the property from going underwater. The men zeroed in on Qatari billionaire sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani (HBJ) as a potential investor.
HBJ eventually agreed to invest $500m in the property, sources tell The Intercept, on the condition that Kushner Companies found the rest of the money for the multi-billion-dollar project on its own.
For help, Kushner Companies turned to Chinese insurance company Anbang. The company agreed to secure a $4bn construction loan to develop the property in early March. But weeks later, as concerns about conflicts of interest mounted, Anbang pulled out.
Without the help of Anbang, Kushner Companies could not meet the rest of HBJ's funding demands. According to one source in the region, HBJ killed the deal. According to another, he simply put it on hold.
Either way, a diplomatic crisis centred around Qatar broke out shortly thereafter. In early June, at least six Gulf Region countries severed or reduced ties to the country, claiming it had supported terrorism.
The countries issued a list of demands necessary for Qatar to regain favour, including shutting down the media network Al-Jazeera, cutting ties with various Islamist groups, limiting ties with Iran, and expelling Turkish troops.
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