Jared Kushner

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Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner cropped.jpg
Senior Advisor to the President
Assumed office
January 20, 2017
Serving with Stephen Miller
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Brian Deese
Valerie Jarrett
Shailagh Murray
Director of the Office of American Innovation
Assumed office
March 27, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Position established
Personal details
Born Jared Corey Kushner
(1981-01-10) January 10, 1981 (age 40)
Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.[1]
Political party Democratic[2]
Spouse(s) Ivanka Trump (m. 2009)
Relations Charles Kushner (Father)
Joshua Kushner (Brother)
Murray Kushner (Uncle)
Children 3
Education Harvard University (A.B.)
New York University (JD, MBA)
Religion Judaism

Jared Corey Kushner (born January 10, 1981) is an American real estate investor and developer, newspaper owner, and senior advisor to President Donald Trump. Together with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon he formed Trump's leadership team.

According to Forbes, in 2017 Jared Kushner and his parents have a personal fortune of around $1.8 billion.[3] He was principal owner of the real estate holding and development company Kushner Companies and of Observer Media, publisher of the weekly, on-line New York Observer. On January 9, 2017, Kushner was named to be a Senior White House Adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump. As a result, Kushner resigned as CEO of his family's real estate company and as publisher of the Observer.[4] He also divested "substantial assets".[5]

Securities filings show that Kushner's business partners include Peter Thiel and George Soros.[6]

Kushner is the elder son of American real estate developer Charles Kushner and is married to Ivanka Trump, who is Donald Trump's daughter. He was among the senior advisors to Trump's presidential campaign. Thiel said "If Trump was the CEO, Jared was effectively the chief operating officer.”[7] Kushner played the largest role in developing and running Trump's digital media strategy.[8][9][10]

Family history, early life and education

Kushner was born in Livingston, New Jersey, and is the elder son of Seryl Kushner (née Stadtmauer) and real estate developer Charles Kushner.[11][12] His paternal grandparents, Rae and Joseph Kushner, were Holocaust survivors who came to the U.S. from Poland[lower-alpha 1] in 1949.[13] His grandmother Rae Kushner was born in Novogrudek, in what is now Belarus.[14] Joseph became a prominent real estate businessman.[15][16]

He has a brother, Joshua (also a businessman), and two sisters, Nicole and Dara. He is also a nephew of Murray Kushner, the owner of Kushner Real Estate Group. Kushner Real Estate Group is separate from Kushner Companies, which Murray Kushner started in 2000.[15]

Kushner was raised in a Modern Orthodox Jewish family in New Jersey.[17] He graduated from the Frisch School, a private, coed yeshiva high school, in 1999. According to a spokeswoman for Kushner Companies, he was an honors student and a member of the debate, hockey, and basketball teams while at Frisch.[18]

In 2003, Kushner graduated cum laude from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Arts degree[19] in government.[20] While a student at Harvard, he lived in Kirkland House,[21] was a member of the Fly Club and bought and sold real estate in Somerville, Massachusetts, earning a $20 million profit.[22] In 2007, he graduated from New York University where he earned a J.D. and an M.B.A.;[23] He interned at Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's office and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.[24]

Business career

Real estate

Kushner Companies purchased 666 Fifth Avenue in 2007 for $1.8 billion, the most expensive single property purchase in US history at the time.[25]
In May 2015, Kushner purchased a majority stake of One Times Square for $295 million.[26]

According to Forbes, in 2017 Jared Kushner and his parents have a personal fortune of around $1.8 billion.[3] Kushner is a real estate investor, and has increased the Kushner Companies' presence in the New York City real estate market as a principal in his family's real estate company.[27] His father, Charles Kushner, was arrested on charges of tax evasion, illegal campaign donations, and witness tampering in 2004, and was eventually convicted on all charges (by then U.S. Attorney Chris Christie)[28] and sentenced to two years in federal prison.[29]

Kushner Companies purchased the office building at 666 Fifth Avenue in 2007, for a then-record price of $1.8 billion, most of it borrowed.[25] However, following the property crash in 2008, the cash flow generated by the property was insufficient to cover its debt service, and the Kushners were forced to sell the retail portion in the building to Stanley Chera for more than $1 billion[30] and bring in Vornado Realty Trust as a 50% equity partner in the ownership of the building.[31]

He assumed the role of CEO of Kushner Companies in 2008.[28] On August 18, 2014, Kushner acquired a three-building apartment portfolio in Middle River, Maryland, for $37.9 million with Aion Partners. In 2013–14, he and his company acquired more than 11,000 units throughout New York, New Jersey, and the Baltimore area.[32] In May 2015, he purchased 50.1% of the Times Square Building from Africa Israel Investments Ltd. for $295 million.[26]

In 2015, Kushner scored spot No. 25 on Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 list ranking the most influential young people in business.[33]

Newspaper publishing

At age 25, Kushner purchased the New York Observer, a weekly New York City newspaper, for $10 million,[34] using money he says he earned during his college years by closing deals on residential buildings in Somerville, Massachusetts, with family members providing the backing for his investments.[35]

After purchasing the Observer, Kushner published it in tabloid format.[36] Since then, he has been credited with increasing the Observer's online presence and expanding the Observer Media Group.[37][38] With no substantial experience in journalism, Kushner could not establish a good relationship with the newspaper's veteran editor-in-chief, Peter W. Kaplan.[39] “This guy doesn’t know what he doesn’t know,” Kaplan remarked about Kushner, to colleagues, at the time. [39] As a result of his differences with Kushner, Kaplan quit his position. Kaplan was followed by a series of short-lived successors until Kushner hired Elizabeth Spiers in 2011.[40] In December 2011, the New York Post reported that the Observer expected to become profitable for the first time.[41] Spiers left the newspaper in 2012. In January 2013, Kushner hired a new editor-in-chief, Ken Kurson. Kurson had been a consultant to Republican political candidates in New Jersey[40] and one-time member of Rudy Giuliani's unsuccessful 2008 presidential primary campaign.

According to Vanity Fair, under Kushner, the "Observer has lost virtually all of its cultural currency among New York’s elite, but the paper is now profitable and reporting traffic growth ... [it] boasts 6 million unique visitors per month, up from 1.3 million in January 2013".[42] In April 2016, the New York Observer became one of only a handful of newspapers to officially endorse United States presidential candidate Donald Trump in the Republican primary, but the paper ended the campaign period by choosing not to back any presidential candidate at all.[43][44]

Kushner stepped down from his newspaper role in January 2017 to pursue a role in President Donald Trump's administration. He was replaced by his brother-in-law, Joseph Meyer.[45]

Los Angeles Dodgers bid

In February 2012 Kushner put in a bid to acquire the MLB team the Los Angeles Dodgers,[46] but withdrew it the next month.[47]

Political activity

Earlier career and family history

Jared Kushner had been a life-long Democrat and had made major donations to its candidates for years before reportedly undergoing an "ideological conversion" and supporting the 2015–16 Trump campaign.[48][49][50][51] Kushner has had no prior involvement in campaign politics or in government before his father-in-law, Trump's, campaign.[52]

Trump presidential campaign

From the outset of the presidential campaign of his father-in-law Donald Trump, Kushner was the architect of Trump's digital, online and social media campaigns, enlisting talent from Silicon Valley to run a 100-person social-media team dubbed "Project Alamo".[9] Kushner has also helped as a speechwriter and was tasked with working to establish a plan for Trump's White House transition team should he be elected.[53] He was for a time seen as Trump's de facto campaign manager, succeeding Corey Lewandowski, who was fired in part on Kushner's recommendation in June 2016.[54] He has been intimately involved with campaign strategy, coordinating Trump's visit in late August to Mexico and he was believed to be responsible for the choice of Mike Pence as Trump's running mate.[9][55] Kushner's "sprawling digital fundraising database and social media campaign" has been described as "the locus of his father-in-law’s presidential bid".[56]

According to Eric Schmidt, "Jared Kushner is the biggest surprise of the 2016 election, Best I can tell, he actually ran the campaign and did it with essentially no resources."[7] Eric Schmidt said, "Jared understood the online world in a way the traditional media folks didn't. He managed to assemble a presidential campaign on a shoestring using new technology and won. That's a big deal. Remember all those articles about how they had no money, no people, organizational structure? Well, they won, and Jared ran it."[7] Peter Thiel said "If Trump was the CEO, Jared was effectively the chief operating officer.”[7]

On July 5, 2016, Kushner wrote an open letter in the New York Observer addressing the controversy around a tweet from the Trump campaign containing allegedly antisemitic imagery. He was responding to his own paper's editorial by Dana Schwartz criticizing Kushner's involvement with the Trump campaign.[57] In the letter, Kushner wrote, "In my opinion, accusations like “racist” and “anti-Semite” are being thrown around with a carelessness that risks rendering these words meaningless."[58]

Trump presidential transition

File:Shinzō Abe and Donald Trump (3).jpg
Japanese PM Shinzō Abe, Jared Kushner, Ivanka, and President-elect Trump, November 17, 2016

During the presidential transition, Kushner was said to be his father-in-law's "confidant"[59] and one of Donald Trump's closest advisors, even more so than Trump's four adult children.[60] Trump was reported to have requested the top-secret security clearance for him to attend the Presidential daily intelligence briefings as his staff-level companion, along with General Mike Flynn who already had the clearance prior to his resignation.[61]

The Washington Post, New York Times and numerous other national news authorities explain Kushner was an influential factor behind the firing of New Jersey governor Chris Christie as head of the transition team, as well as the dismissal from the Donald Trump transition team of anyone connected to Christie.[62][63] A source familiar with the Trump campaign explained that “Jared doesn’t like Christie. He’s always held [the prosecution of his father, Charles Kushner] against Christie.”[64] Kushner told Forbes that the reports that he was involved in Christie's dismissal were false: “Six months ago Governor Christie and I decided this election was much bigger than any differences we may have had in the past, and we worked very well together. The media has speculated on a lot of different things, and since I don't talk to the press, they go as they go, but I was not behind pushing out him or his people.”[65]

Senior Advisor to President Trump

In January 2017, Kushner was named a Senior White House Advisor to President Trump. Kushner's appointment was questioned on the basis of a 1967 anti-nepotism law.[66] On January 20, 2017 the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion stating "the President may appoint relatives to his immediate staff of advisors."[67][68] Kushner was sworn in on January 22, 2017.[69]

File:President Trump's First 100 Days- 24 (33998675020).jpg
President Trump, Marco Rubio and Kushner visit a fourth grade classroom in Orlando, Florida

Trump put Kushner in charge of brokering peace in Israeli–Palestinian conflict as well as making deals with foreign countries, although in what way he is in charge is unclear.[70][71][72] Furthermore, after Donald Trump became President-elect, Kushner and his wife met with Japanese Prime Minister and other Japanese officials while his wife was conducting a licensing deal between her namesake clothing brand and a Japanese government-owned company.[73] His wife sat in on a meeting between her father, then President-elect Donald Trump and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.[74] In February 2017, his wife Ivanka Trump was a surprise attendee at the Chinese Embassy’s New Year’s party.[75] In late March 2017 he was also given the new role of leading the "White House Office of American Innovation".[76][77]

In April 2017 it was revealed that Kushner failed to disclose on his top-secret security clearance application form that he had met with Russian officials, including the head of a Moscow government-owned bank, Vnesheconombank, and the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.[78] Kushner’s lawyer has called the omissions an “oversight.” Democratic lawmakers, including some members of the House of Representatives have called for suspension or revoking of Kushner’s security clearance, and have written request letters to the Director of the FBI James Comey and Charles Phalen, director of the National Background Investigations Bureau.[79] In May the Wall Street Journal reported that he had also failed to disclose other financial information.[80][6]

Personal life

Kushner married Ivanka Trump, daughter of businessman and U.S. president Donald Trump, in a Jewish ceremony on October 25, 2009.[81][82] They are Modern Orthodox Jews, keep a kosher home, and observe the Jewish Sabbath.[83][84][85] Jared and Ivanka have three children: Arabella Rose, Joseph Fredrick and Theodore James.[86] In 2017 federal disclosures suggested Kushner and his wife had assets worth at least $740 million.[87]


  1. It was then in Poland, but is now in Belarus. See Navahrudak#Age of the partitions for more information.


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External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Brian Deese
Senior Advisor to the President
With: Stephen Miller
Preceded by
Valerie Jarrett
Preceded by
Shailagh Murray