>> Federal investigators are reportedly looking into whether Jared Kushner's business talks with foreigners during the presidential transition had any influence on later White House policy towards those people he spoke with. According to NBC News, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked witnesses about Kushner's attempts to secure financing for his family's real estate ventures.
Focusing specifically on his talks with people from Qatar and Turkey, as well as Russia, China, and the United Arab Emirates. One instance of note, Kushner Companies approached Qatar several times, including last spring, about investing in its troubled flagship property at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York. After those talks collapsed, the White House strongly backed a blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which accused Qatar of banking terrorism.
Kushner has played a major role in Middle East policy. A spokesman for Mueller's office declined to comment. And a spokesman for Kushner's attorney said the report was the, quote, mischief of unnamed sources conducting a, quote, misinformation campaign to mislead the media. The Washington Post reported earlier this week that officials from the UAE, China, Israel, and Mexico have talked privately about ways to manipulate Kushner, using his business arrangements, financial difficulties, and lack of foreign policy experience.
The Kushner Companies' Fifth Avenue property is reportedly facing some $1.4 billion in debt that is due in 2019. This all comes at a fraught time for the President's son-in-law, who recently had his security clearance revoked and who was reportedly caught in a power struggle with the White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly.