5 Big Trump Fails Jared Kushner Will Probably Leave Out of His Book

It promises to be the “definitive” account of the Trump White House, but here are some things he might not mention.
June 16, 2021, 3:41pm
Senior Advisor Jared Kushner looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House on January 29, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of and senior White House adviser to former President Donald Trump, is writing a book about his time in the White House, his publisher announced Wednesday.

The book will be published by Broadside Books, a conservative imprint of HarperCollins that has published books by conservative politicians and media figures like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Ben Shapiro, and Charlie Kirk. The book is expected to be released next year, and Broadside did not disclose how much Kushner is being paid to write it, according to the Guardian. 

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Kushner’s book promises to be the “definitive, thorough recounting” of the Trump presidency. In the spirit of definitiveness and thoroughness, let’s take a look back at Jared Kushner’s track record during his time as one of the most powerful people in the White House—and, by extension, the world.

Tried to make peace in the Middle East, failed miserably

In November 2016, weeks after Trump won the presidency, he said that his son-in-law could help end conflict in the Middle East. “I would love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians, that would be such a great achievement,” Trump said at the time.

Over the next four years, that did not happen. Instead, the Trump administration further inflamed tensions between the Israeli government and Palestinians by embracing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; as Kushner spoke at a ceremony celebrating its opening in May 2018, Israeli security forces were slaughtering dozens of people in Gaza

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In March 2021, Kushner wrote an op-ed claiming that “we are witnessing the last vestiges of what has been known as the Arab-Israeli conflict.” Two months later, Israeli airstrikes killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands of Palestinians and rocket attacks by Hamas killed a dozen Israeli civilians.

When he called hundreds of thousands of COVID deaths a “success story”

As one of Trump’s top advisers, Kushner was in the room from the earliest stages of the crisis that would become the COVID-19 pandemic. And along with the president himself, Kushner continuously downplayed the pandemic that tore through the country and represented possibly the biggest crisis and interruption in American life since the end of World War II. 

In April 2020, as the virus was ravaging Kushner’s hometown of New York City, Kushner predicted that things would be “rocking” by July and mocked “the eternal lockdown crowd.” 

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“The federal government rose to the challenge and this is a great success story and I think that that's really what needs to be told,” Kushner said at the time. In August, after more than 170,000 people were dead, Kushner was asked if he still thought that constituted a “success story.”

“Yes,” Kushner told CNN, without a hint of irony.

To date, approximately 600,000 Americans have died due to complications from the virus.

When he bungled the search for PPE and medical supplies

It wasn’t just Kushner’s words about the pandemic, either: He also actively mismanaged the effort to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies for healthcare workers at a time when they were needed most. 

During a March 2020 meeting at the White House, Kushner told attendees that securing PPE would be up to the “free market” and that the “states” were on their own, according to a report by Vanity Fair. “[New York Governor] Andrew Cuomo didn’t pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state,” Kushner reportedly told attendees. “His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem.” (The White House called the story “another inaccurate and partisan hit job.”) 

Kushner’s approach to securing supplies was driven almost entirely by politics, with an inexperienced volunteer team prioritizing leads on equipment that were offered up by Trump allies, according to the New York Times. As states pleaded for equipment to help protect frontline workers, Kushner went on TV during a coronavirus task force briefing early last April and referred to the nation’s PPE stockpile as “our stockpile.” 

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"The notion of the federal stockpile is that it's supposed to be our stockpile,” Kushner said. “It's not supposed to be states' stockpiles that they then use."

In an interview with Bob Woodward last April that was published later in the year, Kushner bragged that Trump was “back in charge. It’s not the doctors.” 

That time he lost his security clearance

In February 2018, Kushner—described in reports as a regular reader of the Presidential Daily Briefing—was stripped of his top-secret security clearance after delays in completing a background check. Three months later, it was restored

Kushner appears to have gotten it back the old-fashioned way: Nepotism. Trump reportedly demanded that then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly approve a security clearance for Kushner despite concerns by the Central Intelligence Agency and White House counsel Don McGahn, according to the New York Times. One whistleblower told Congress that Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump were two of dozens of people who were granted security clearances over the objections of career officials. 

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A spokesman for Kushner’s personal lawyer told the Times that he “went through the standard process with no pressure from anyone,” and the former president has denied intervening on behalf of Kushner in a January 2019 interview with the New York Times. “I know that there was issues back and forth about security for numerous people, actually,” Trump said. “But I don’t want to get involved in that stuff.”

And when he was exposed as a slumlord

Prior to joining the White House, Kushner was the CEO of Kushner Companies: The real estate company was founded by his father, and Jared still holds a share estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. While the younger Kushner ran the company and its assets, it aggressively litigated against poor and working-class tenants in order to collect relatively meager fees, according to ProPublica.

In one particularly egregious case, JK2 (one of Kushner’s companies in which he and his brother each owned a 50 percent stake) sued a woman who was dying of cancer for nearly $4,000 in rent and legal fees, including repair costs and $10 for “failure to return a laundry room card,” according to ProPublica. In a statement at the time, Kushner Companies’ chief financial officer told ProPublica: “As property manager, it’s our job to collect rent payments.”

In 2018, the company was fined more than $210,000 by New York City housing regulators after the Associated Press reported that Kushner Companies had filed false paperwork claiming it had no rent-controlled tenants in order to evade anti-tenant harassment regulations— in fact, it had hundreds of rent-controlled tenants. And in April 2021, a Maryland judge found that the company committee “widespread and numerous” violations of consumer protection laws.

Chances are he’s probably not going to want to talk about any of this in his memoir.