Jared Kushner landed $2 billion from Saudi Arabia six months after his father-in-law, Donald Trump, left the White House. The sum was sent to Kushner’s private equity firm after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman overruled advisers for his nation’s sovereign wealth fund, who thought Kushner and his firm were too sketchy to warrant such a large investment, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
The $620 billion fund’s advisory panel was reportedly concerned that Kushner’s newly created firm, Affinity Partners, didn’t have much experience; that the firms operations were “unsatisfactory in all aspects”; and that Kushner posed a “public relations risk” because of his work in the Trump administration. The fund’s advisers discussed these issues during a meeting last June 30, days after which bin Salman overruled them and green-lit the payment.
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The panel may have thought Kushner’s association with Trump was cause for concern, but bin Salman clearly sees it as an advantage — especially considering Kushner could be back in the White House if Trump runs and wins in 2024. The two political scions have become friendly, with bin Salman undeterred by the Trump family’s financial volatility — and potential criminality — and Kushner undeterred by the Saudi government’s gruesome murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. The two chatted regularly before and after the murder, the Times reported in 2018, calling each other “Jared” and “Mohammad” in text messages.
“Affinity, like many other top investment firms, is proud to have PIF and other leading organizations that have careful screening criteria, as investors,” a spokesperson for Kushner’s firm told the Times of its relationship with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.
The news of bin Salman overruling objections of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund’s advisers to send $2 billion to Kushner’s firm comes as Trump and other right-wing shit-stirrers have decided to once again the kick the tires on the idea that Hunter Biden received $3.5 million from the widow of the former mayor of Moscow. Trump tried to press Biden on the payment in the debates ahead of the 2020 election, and brought it up again last month when he asked Vladimir Putin to provide information on the transaction — despite the fact that Putin is murdering civilians by the thousand as he directs Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a U.S. ally.
The only problem is that there’s no evidence this actually happened. Senate Republicans released a report before the 2020 election that alleged Yelena Baturina sent the sum to a Biden-connected firm called Rosemont Seneca Thornton in 2014. Trump tried to make hay out of the report’s findings, but The Washington Post recently dug into what the report said beyond its headline-worthy summary, and found that it does not actually claim that Biden received the money. The Post found no evidence Biden had anything to do with the transaction.
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