Kushner's Israeli business ties examined amid loss of security clearance


The real estate company owned by the family of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who also happens to be President Donald Trump's son-in-law, received more than $500 million in loans previous year after executives from the lending companies met with Kushner at the White House.

Kushner met with Apollo founder Joshua Harris in the White House multiple times past year and even discussed the possibility of a White House job for Harris, sources told the newspaper.

The job never materialized, but in November, Apollo lent $184 million (U.S.) to Kushner's family real estate firm, Kushner Cos.

Likewise, Kushner had meetings with Citigroup's top exec Michael Corbat - to discuss financial and trade policy, several sources told The Times.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) made the requests to Deutsche Bank, Signature Bank and New York Community Bank for information on loans and other financial arrangements including lines of credit and loan guarantees a week ago, the person said.

Signature, a NY state-chartered bank, said in an email that, with the permission of its client, it could state that "the Kushner Family and Kushner Co have been clients since 2010".

And spokespeople for both companies asserted the loans granted to Kushner Companies were unrelated to the meetings.

It was recently revealed that dozens of White House aides were still operating with direct access to some of the country's most sensitive material despite not having obtained final permanent clearance.

In the case of Apollo Global Management, Kushner met multiple times with its head, Joshua Harris, three sources told The Times.

Taylor, of Kushner Cos, told the Times "stories like these attempt to make insinuating connections that do not exist to disparage the financial institutions and companies involved".

Last year, the regulators asked Deutsche Bank for details about transactions it had flagged as suspicious that had apparent ties to officials in Mr. Trump's administration or people close to them, one of the people said.

A spokesman for Kushner's attorney said the senior adviser to President Donald Trump "has taken no part of any business, loans or projects with or for" Kushner Companies since joining the White House.

It was reported this week Kushner's security clearance was downgraded from top secret to secret because of issues with his background investigation.

Although Kushner stepped down as the company's CEO in 2017, after Trump was sworn in to the office, the business still remains in his family and reports suggest he is still invested in the company's business dealings. He was among the Trump campaign members involved in a controversial July 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer who emails suggested promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

But the complicated finances surrounding the Kushner family's vast real-estate empire and his qualifications for the foreign policy responsibilities given to him by his father-in-law invited scrutiny from the start.

Kushner resigned as chief executive of Kushner Cos. when he joined the White House last January, and he sold a small portion of his stake in the company to a trust controlled by his mother.