By Michael Kranish | Washington Post
Four months after President Donald Trump named his son-in-law, Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka, White House advisers, he was reprimanded by former Justice Department official Mark Corallo. "You could start draining the swamp by removing your in-laws," said Corallo, a conservative Republican.
Yet shortly after the caustic tweet, Corallo was surprised to be asked to become the White House's director of communications. He declined the offer saying he needed time with his family. Then he was invited to be a communications consultant for the legal team. He agreed on the condition that he never say anything negative about the special advocate Robert Mueller, who he says is "walking on the water".
As Corallo moved into her position, her concerns about the actions of Ivanka Trump and Kushner increased, according to Vicky Ward's book "Kushner, Inc .: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The extraordinary story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. "The Kushners were" rash, "Corallo was quoted as saying. He feared they would be present when Trump discussed Mueller's probe with his lawyers. According to Corallo, this would make them witnesses of a conversation, potentially undermining the otherwise privileged discussions between the president and his lawyers.
In the midst of all this, Corallo reportedly stated that Kushner had asked him why he would not accept the position of Director of Communications of the White House.
"You do not want to serve your country?" Kushner asked Corallo, according to Ward's book.
"Young man, my three years at the end of an M16 ticked that box," said Corallo, a veteran of the military. (The version of Kushner's events is not given in the book.)
The anecdotes of Corallo are among the most striking in Ward's book because, unlike many others cited, he spoke to him in the file, according to the notes at the end of the text.
There is no revelation here about Kushner's meeting with a Russian banker or his involvement in a meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower, two issues that aroused the interest of the investigators. Ward is, however, particularly critical of Trump's decision to entrust Kushner's Middle East policy, which led to clashes with then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, among others.
Ward wonders if Kushner has abused his role. find funding to save a property from Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and suggests that Kushner nearly dragged the United States into a war in the Middle East. This is a dark and rather one-sided portrait, with which the Kushner and Trump families will certainly disagree.
Most of the book, as is often the case with volumes trying to tell the story of the White House. , the sources are anonymous and highly critical. If Ward got interviews with her two main subjects, she does not say it; their voices are mostly filtered by other people's mouths, most of them perhaps interested in turning conversations in a certain way. This is certainly a particularly difficult task that Ward has undertaken, given Kushner's few public comments and the couple's obsession with maintaining their image and protecting the president.
The greatest challenge of the book, and one that is likely to ask questions, is by completing the third element of Ward's subtitle: "Greed. Ambition. Corruption. This last word evokes crime; while Kushner's father served a prison sentence, neither Jared nor Ivanka were charged with crimes by a prosecutor.
In the text, while Ward hammers the couple page by page, she does not explicitly charge them with corruption within the meaning of the couple's definition. legal status. She may be closer when she writes that "it has been reported" that Ivanka Trump had supervised her family's project in Azerbaijan in which a partner's brother was described as corrupt in a US diplomatic cable. .
"As a result, it is possible that the Trump organization has violated the law on corrupt practices abroad," writes Ward, offering a notable hedge.
Certainly, Trump and his family exposed these concepts in a cowardly and unprotected way. During the 2016 campaign, he called Hillary Clinton "the most corrupt candidate of all time!" Retweeting an image that encapsulated the words in a Jewish star against the background of US currency, a tweet widely criticized for its anti-Semitism . (Trump said he thought it was a sheriff's star.) Clinton, like Jared and Ivanka, was not charged with corruption by prosecutors.
Ward, who relies heavily on information from other people (noted in the notes), his own sources, tends, particularly in the first half of the book, to make radical statements and repeat rumors, including she is then charged. She writes that a man "slept with men and hired prostitutes" and another "was not one to be troubled by ethics".
Ward paints a sordid portrait of Kushner's adulthood, telling stories about his father's contributions to Harvard University may have made it possible for him to make his way to college. A war within the Kushner family led his father, Charles Kushner, to arrange for a prostitute to trap a member of his family with whom he had quarreled. Charles Kushner went to jail for his role in the scheme and for other matters. Jared then told New York magazine that his father's point of view was: "Are you trying to make my life miserable? Well, I do the same. "
To restore the family image, writes Ward, Elder Kushner has adopted a plan to move from the possession of garden apartments in New Jersey to the acquisition of an office tower on Fifth Avenue, a "Trophy". It would dazzle unbelievers. In addition, Jared would buy the New York Observer for a friendly treatment in the media and "go out with someone first". While the father was pulling the strings, the son got the credit - and later the blame - for buying the country's most expensive office. property just before the Great Recession, leaving him with a staggering debt. As for the prominent woman, Kushner has dated Ivanka Trump.
Donald Trump was not happy at first, according to Ward. "Why could not she marry Tom Brady?" He said, referring to a quarter of the New England Patriots, Ward writes. "Have you seen how he throws a football?"
In Ward's rather cynical portrait, Ivanka was also strategic. Ward quotes her in her own book, "The Trump Card": "If anyone perceives that something is true, it's more important than if it's really true."
When Trump said that there were "very good people on both sides" of a clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which white supremacists shouted, "The Jews will not replace us", the economic adviser of Trump, Gary Cohn, threatened to resign, noting that some members of his family had been killed in the Holocaust. Ivanka advised him to stay and tell him, "My father is not racist. He did not want to say anything. he is not anti-Semitic, "according to Ward. Cohn stayed at his post.
At first, Jared and Ivanka did not plan to work in the White House, but after Trump appointed them advisers, they often ran into chief strategist Stephen Bannon. Ward writes, "Everybody knows you're running away," Bannon would have written to Ivanka. (19659003) "Everyone knows you're running away," said Ward.
liar, "she said. "Whatever comes out of your mouth is a lie."
"Go away. . . . You are nothing, "said Bannon.
According to Ward, the president finally wanted to send Jared and Ivanka back to New York, but after so many layoffs and resignations at the White House, he needed them more than ever.
Some of their activities remained largely opaque. And Ward can only accept speculation about corruption. She writes that it is only after a thorough investigation by Congress and other authorities that they could "finally face a calculation".
Kranish is a Washington Post investigative political reporter and co-author of "Trump Revealed." is the author of "The World's Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Major Taylor, the First American Hero of Black Sport", to be released in May.
Kushner, Inc .: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The extraordinary story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump
from Vicky Ward
St. Martin's. 286 pages. 28,99 $
This article appeared first (in English) on mercurynews.com