Jul 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jared Kushner didn't tell Trump about 2019 thyroid cancer diagnosis

Photo of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump standing
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords at the White House on Sept. 15, 2020. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of former President Trump and one of his senior advisers at the White House, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2019 and didn't tell Trump about it, according to an excerpt of Kushner's forthcoming memoir provided to the New York Times.

Driving the news: The cancer was detected "early" but led to the removal of a "substantial part" of his thyroid, Kushner writes in the book. Wanting to keep the diagnosis private, he only shared the knowledge with his wife, Ivanka Trump, two aides and then-White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, he said.

What he's saying: "[W]e scheduled the operation for the Friday before Thanksgiving," he wrote, per the Times. "That way, I would miss the least amount of time in the office. My absence might even go unnoticed. That’s how I wanted it."

  • He said he focused on work and tried not to think about the tumor. "When I did think about it, I reminded myself that it was in the hands of God and the doctors, and that whatever happened was out of my control. At moments, I caught myself wondering whether I would need extensive treatment."
  • Though he didn't tell Trump initially, the former president found out anyway and asked him if he was nervous about the surgery the day before the operation, according to Kushner.
  • When asked how he knew about it, Kushner said Trump responded, "I'm the president. I know everything. I understand that you want to keep these things quiet. I like to keep things like this to myself as well. You’ll be just fine. Don’t worry about anything with work. We have everything covered here."

The big picture: Kushner's book, "Breaking History: A White House Memoir," is set to be published on Aug. 23.

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