Jared Kushner is rarely seen in the public eye, but a new piece from Vanity Fair gives readers an in-depth and rather unflattering look at how he eventually became a White House advisor (and President Trump‘s son-in-law).
In the piece called “How Jared Kushner is Dismantling a Family Empire,” it begins by shedding light on the family drama that took place over a Passover Seder back in 2000. His real estate tycoon father, Charlie Kushner — described as a risk-taker, had a falling out with his son Murray — described as cautious, who were business partners at the time. When they no longer became partners, this caused a rift between Charlie and his sister Esther and brother-in-law Billy Schulder, who would later on cooperate with the authorities and would lead to Mr. Kushner’s conviction and prison sentence.
Jared Kushner is described as “handsome” but not very bright, at least not bright enough to get into Harvard without the help of his billionaire father.
“There was no way anybody in the administrative office of the school thought he would on the merits get into Harvard,” a former official at the Frisch School (where Kushner attended before Harvard). “His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it. We thought for sure, there was no way this was going to happen. Then, lo and behold, Jared was accepted. It was a little bit disappointing because there were at the time other kids we thought should really get in on the merits, and they did not.”
The piece later goes into detail about his two major investments that ultimately backfired: his purchase of the declining New York Observer and buying an office building in Manhattan that to this day remains roughly 30% empty.
Writer Rich Cohen implies that had it not been for his wife Ivanka Trump, he’d be without status after his poor investment decisions.
“Charlie had all the money in the world and still went to prison. By acquiring 666, Jared gave up capital but acquired status, a place in the city. From New Jersey to 666 Fifth Avenue. No Manhattan position, no Ivanka. No Ivanka, no Air Force One.”
His father was often seen as the “Don Corleone of the community,” a Kushner family friend told New York’s Gabriel Sherman: “He loved that when he walks into a synagogue the rabbis run over to him. Charlie saw himself as the Jewish Kennedy.”
However, The Godfather comparisons didn’t stop with Charlie as Observer employees Cohen reached out to for the piece made the same reference about the president.
I called several current and former Observer employees and asked them to be interviewed for this story. Just about all agreed to talk, but none would talk on the record. A couple of people insisted that our communication move to encoded app. I asked a friend why everyone seemed so spooked. “People are freaked about Trump,” he said. “Trump is all about loyalty and is vindictive; Jared is his de facto favorite son; the Kushners are also all about loyalty . . . so people are also freaked about Jared. They project a lot onto him. He’s like the heir apparent in a Mob family that happens to run the whole country. So there’s the big question: Is he Sonny or is he Michael?
Here’s what I asked: What about Fredo?
Check out the entire piece here.
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