Jilted by Qatar, Jared Kushner pushes his newfound Saudi buddies to blockade them


Welcome to global politics in the Trump era:

The Intercept reports the country of Qatar is being physically blockaded by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates and is accused of financing terrorism, with Jared Kushner pushing internally for a hardline against the country. Yet over the past year he and his firm have been secretly lobbying a financier there for a half-billion loan to bail out their flagging flagship property, 666 Fifth Avenue.


Not long before a major crisis ripped through the Middle East, pitting the United States and a bloc of Gulf countries against Qatar, Jared Kushner’s real estate company had unsuccessfully sought a critical half-billion investment from one of the richest and most influential men in the tiny nation, according to three well-placed sources with knowledge of the near transaction.

Kushner is a senior adviser to President Trump, and also his son in law, and also the scion of a New York real estate empire that faces an extreme risk from an investment made by Kushner in the building at 666 Fifth Avenue where the family is now severely underwater.

Qatar is facing an ongoing blockade led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which President Trump has taken credit for sparking. Kushner, meanwhile, has reportedly played a key behind-the-scenes role in hardening the U.S. posture toward the embattled nation.

That hardline comes in the wake of the previously unreported half-billion deal that was never consummated. Throughout 2015 and 2016, Jared Kushner and his father, Charles, negotiated directly with a major investor in Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, known as HBJ for short, in an effort to refinance the property on Fifth Avenue, the sources said.

Trump himself has unsuccessfully sought financing in recent years from the Qataris, but it is difficult to overstate just how important to Kushner the investment at 666 Fifth Avenue is for him, his company, and his family’s legacy in real estate. Without some outside intervention or unforeseen turnaround in the market, the investment could become an embarrassing half billion dollar loss. It’s unclear precisely how much peril such a loss would put Jared, or his family’s, finances in, given the opacity of their private holdings.

HBJ, a former prime minister of Qatar who ran the country’s $250 billion sovereign wealth fund, is a billionaire and one of the world’s richest men. He owns a yacht worth $300 million called Al Mirqab, the same name he gave to the private investment firm that Kushner pitched. The former emir of Qatar summed up HBJ’s power with a quip: “I may run this country, but he owns it.”

HBJ ultimately agreed to invest at least $500 million through Al Mirqab, on the condition that the Kushner Companies could raise the rest of a multi-billion refinancing elsewhere. The negotiations continued long after the election, carried out as recently as this spring by Charles Kushner. “HBJ basically told them, we’re good for 500, subject to a lot of things, but mainly subject to you being able to raise the rest,” said one source in the region with knowledge of the deal. The talks were confirmed by two additional sources with knowledge of the talks. One of those sources claimed that the potential deal was not contingent on the rest of the money being raised and that the HBJ investment was on hold as the overall structure of the financing was reconsidered. None of the sources would agree to talk on the record about a private financial transaction that has until now remained a secret.

After the election, Kushner Companies found many more suitors interested in doing business, one of the sources, who is U.S.-based, said. One of the investors taking the deal more seriously in the end of 2016 and early 2017, the U.S. source said, was “Hamid bin what’s-his-name,” referring to HBJ. Top executives at Kushner Companies, the source said, “are dumb enough to not know that why they want to deal with them has nothing to do with the real estate. Around the New Year they were like, ‘LPs” — industry slang for limited partners, or investors — “are engaging more!’ It’s like, I wonder why?”

from The Intercept By Ben Walsh, Ryan Grim and Clayton Swisher




11 thoughts on “Jilted by Qatar, Jared Kushner pushes his newfound Saudi buddies to blockade them

  1. And another example of how Trump Unlimited puts it’s personal affairs ahead of the the good of the Nation.

    Qatar is a staunch American Ally, some 10,000 US armed forces personnel are currently based there. The vast majority of missions flown by the Air Force against ISIS flies from there.

    Yet Trump and Family allowed a regional dispute between the Qatari’s and other Arab nations go hot because the Saudi’s let the President touch their glowing orb and because the Qatari’s rubbed Trump and Family the wrong way.

    Trump gave permission to the Saudi’s (and associates) to go crazy against the Qatari’s and the Saudi’s jumped at it.

    Up until the recent past (about six months ago) this would have been the sort of thing to get the Republicans frothing at the mouth. Now they seem cool with all of this.

    Folks, we are not talking about a few pet Democratic Party projects being abused by the current administration. We are talking about saving what is left of our strategic alliances around the world that have helped keep this nation safe for the past few generations.

    It really is not funny any more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mola, trump and company are reshaping our relationship with the whole world. You can see Bannan’s fingerprints all over the place. There is only one answer to this debacle, he has to go, but the solution seems agonizingly slow. I can only hope Muller finds the goods. Or should I say, BADS.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This from JW who can’t keep his genders straight. but we’ll play along:
      Stephen Kevin Bannon (born November 27, 1953) is an American media executive, formerly a film producer, who is currently serving as the White House Chief Strategist (a newly created position) in the Trump administration.[2] In this capacity, he attended the Principals Committee of the U.S. National Security Council from January 28, 2017[3] to April 5, 2017.[4][5]
      On August 17, 2016, in the later months of the campaign, Bannon joined Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid, taking the position of chief executive officer.[6][7] Prior to taking a leave of absence in August 2016, he had been executive chair of Breitbart News, a far-right[i] news, opinion, and commentary website[17][18] which he described in 2016 as “the platform for the alt-right”.[I]
      Bannon was an officer in the United States Navy for seven years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, serving on the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster as well as at the Pentagon. After his military service, he worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in the Mergers and Acquisitions Department. When he left the company, Bannon held the position of vice president. In 1993, he was made acting director of the Earth-science research project Biosphere 2. In the 1990s, he became an executive producer in the Hollywood film and media industry and has produced 18 films since 1991.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Just Watchin:

      Surely you’ve heard of him. Isn’t he the one who signs the paychecks for your conservative troll blogging?

      Not that he’s getting his money’s worth…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Believe me MOLA….I really don’t need any more money…


      • Just Watchin:

        You mean you act like an idiot in public for free?

        Aw come on. You live in Florida. It would be like me hanging out in local blogs in Manhattan Kansas (not that they would deserve such a fate).

        It is well known the conservatives pay bloggers to haunt sites like this to “get the message out” and otherwise troll liberals and progressives.

        The sad thing is: You are a poor representative of the conservative right. You don’t talk issues, you never explain your point of view. You just troll as if there is nothing else you can say.

        I know conservatives do have a point of view to express, but we would never know that from your contributions here and in other Humboldt County blogs.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. That is telling them Mola. Keep it up as there is very little logic in conservatism these days, as they have such an articulate leader giving them solid direction. Non truth is pablum.

    Liked by 2 people

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