According to The New York Times, a fund led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman contributed more than $2 billion to Jared Kushner’s new $2.5 billion investment fund in the wake of cozy ties with the Trump administration.
According to the Times, Saudi Arabia’s $620 billion Public Investment Fund made the move despite serious concerns about the risks of investing in Kushner’s fledgling Affinity Partners investment firm, which he established last year.
Kushner worked as a real estate developer before being hired as a White House senior adviser by his father-in-law, Donald Trump. Six months after leaving the White House, Kushner secured the funds.
According to documents obtained by the Times, the Saudi panel that oversees investments for the sovereign wealth fund expressed serious concerns about a number of issues, including the “inexperience of the Affinity Partners management” and other “unsatisfactory” aspects of the new company.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a friend of Kushner and recipient of significant Trump administration benefits, overruled the panel.
The lucrative financial ties between the Saudis and Kushner raise serious ethical concerns, especially if Trump is re-elected, but the relationship is not illegal.
During his presidency, Trump formed close relationships with the Saudi leadership, while Kushner maintained a friendship with the crown prince.
Kushner arranged for Trump to make his first trip abroad to attend a summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Kushner also assisted in the negotiation of a highly contentious agreement for Saudi Arabia to purchase billions of dollars in American weapons while the country was bombing civilians in Yemen.
After the murder and dismemberment of Saudi Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, Trump defended bin Salman.
Trump suggested that “rogue killers” may have been involved in Khashoggi’s death, but he never condemned the crown prince, despite American intelligence concluding that he was responsible for the murder.
“I saved his ass, “Rage.” I was able to get Congress to leave him alone,” Trump said of the crown prince in an interview with Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward for his book
Bin Salman “will always say that he didn’t do it. He says that to everybody, and frankly I’m happy that he says that,” Trump told Woodward.
Trump and his supporters have made much of Hunter Biden’s international work and investments during his father’s tenure as vice president. But Kushner’s fortune in Saudi Arabia dwarfs anything Hunter Biden is said to have amassed.
Kushner also worked in the White House while cultivating ties with Saudis that benefited him while representing the American people and using taxpayer funds.
According to a Kushner spokesperson, Affinity Partners is “proud” to have the Saudi Public Investment Fund as an investor.