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Trump Organization, Kushner Companies in talks for hotel business deal

Trump Organization, Kushner Companies in talks for hotel business deal

Trump Organization, Kushner Companies in talks for hotel business deal
March 11
10:01 2018

The Trump Organization has reportedly been in talks with the family company of US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner for a potential business deal around the construction of an oceanfront property in northeast state of New Jersey.

Kushner Companies and the Trump Organization have signed a letter of intent declaring the Trump Organization's plan to manage a hotel at the center of the Kushner Companies' $283 million expansion of Pier Village in Long Branch, New Jersey, The New York Times reported Saturday.

According to the daily, Kushner — who sold some of his holdings in the Kushner Companies before joining Trump’s administration – “still maintains an ownership stake in the New Jersey development, which further blurs the lines between the White House, the Trump family and the two businesses.”

The development comes just weeks after Kushner's security clearance was downgraded as his application for a permanent clearance lingers on.

This is while former Office of Government Ethics (OGE) chief, Walter Shaub, was cited by the Times as saying that the New Jersey business deal could lead to Kushner having “leverage” over the president, who transferred management of the Trump Organization to his two adult sons before taking over the presidential office last year.

“If a subordinate is your son-in-law, maybe you like them, but once you have entangled business interests, they’ve got leverage over you. Blood is not thicker than money for a lot of people,” Shaub said.

Kushner Companies, however, played down the Trump family's financial stake in the New Jersey deal in a statement forwarded to the daily, further saying that the Trumps “have zero equity of any type in our properties or businesses.”

“We are contemplating a third-party operator agreement with their hotel management division at market rate,” it added. 

Moreover, the head of Trump Hotels, Eric Danziger, described the potential agreement as a “straight-up business deal” in a statement, denying that such a deal with Kushner Companies could pose a conflict.

“If there were something out of the ordinary about the deal, then I think that question is fair,” he added. “We do market transactions that are reviewed and checked.”

Meanwhile, the UK-based Guardian also reported Saturday that the federal government has been advising a beach town on the Jersey Shore on plans to build a pier and start a ferry service “that would speed New Yorkers to the doorstep of a resort co-owned by Jared Kushner.”

According to the daily, Kushner’s seaside resort sits right next to the proposed pier, “which places the federal government in the awkward position of helping steer a project that would benefit Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.”

Once the project is complete, the report added citing a former city official, it would raise property values at the Kushner resort — which is currently selling 269 condos for as much as $1.9 million each.

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