Mar 1, 2018

Report: Kushner company got big loans after execs had White House meetings

Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The New York Times reports that Jared Kushner's family's business, Kushner Companies, received substantial loans from companies after Kushner attended White House meetings with their executives.

Why it matters: "There is little precedent for a top White House official meeting with executives of companies as they contemplate sizable loans to his business, say government ethics experts," per the Times. Kushner stepped down as CEO from the company when he joined the White House, but has "retained a vast majority of his interest."

  • The loans received include one for $184 million from Apollo Global Management, which was in talks with officials over infrastructure policy, and another for $325 million, from Citigroup, following a White House meeting with Kushner and the CEO last year.
  • A spokesman for Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell, Peter Mirijanian, told the Times that Kushner "has taken no part of any business, loans or projects with or for" his family company since he became a White House official.
  • Former director of the Office of Government Ethics, Don Fox, told the NYT: "Why does Jared have to take the meeting? Is there not somebody else who doesn't have these financial entanglements who can brainstorm freely with these folks?"

Go deeper: Trump family vs. John Kelly

Go deeper

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.

American society is teetering on the edge

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The COVID-19 pandemic, record unemployment and escalating social unrest are all pushing American society close to the breaking point.

The big picture: Civilizations don't last forever, and when they collapse, the cause is almost always internal failure. Even in the midst of one of our darkest years, the U.S. still has many factors in its favor, but the fate of past societies holds frightening lessons for what may lie ahead.