Kushner's legal team says he played no role in securing the loans. The lenders say standard processes were followed, with Citigroup emphasizing that a relationship existed before Kushner joined the White House. And the Kushner Companies suggested the Times was struggling to connect dots. “Stories like these attempt to make insinuating connections that do not exist to disparage the financial institutions and companies involved,” a spokeswoman said.
But why even take part in the meetings? Why open yourself up to even suspicions of self-dealing when it involves a lender that does business with your family company?
Harris was advising the White House on infrastructure policy, to be sure, but the fact that he and Kushner went so far as to discuss a White House job for Harris suggests they didn't just happen to be in the same room. And then it's Harris's company that happens to give the Kushners a big loan.
This isn't even the first time this week that Kushner's fast-and-loose style in the White House has come up. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Kushner for a time was speaking with foreign leaders without running the contacts through the National Security Council. And national security adviser H.R. McMaster found out from intelligence reports that at least four countries had discussed ways in which to manipulate Kushner via his complex business dealings, financial difficulties and inexperience.
Looming in the background of all of these are the Kushners' readily apparent struggles to obtain cash for a troubled investment at 666 Fifth Ave. in New York, for which $1.2 billion in debt comes due in January. Deals with Qatari and Chinese investors have fallen through, though the same Qatari government investment fund whose deal fell through is a top investor in Apollo's real estate trust.