Kushner in October 2008
|Director of the White House Office of American Innovation|
March 27, 2017
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Senior Advisor to the President|
January 20, 2017
Serving with Stephen Miller
|Preceded by||Brian Deese
|Born||Jared Corey Kushner
January 10, 1981
Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Ivanka Trump (m. 2009)|
|Relations||Joshua Kushner (brother)
Murray Kushner (uncle)
|Education||Harvard University (BA)
New York University (JD, MBA)
Jared Corey Kushner (born January 10, 1981) is an American real estate investor and developer, publisher, and senior advisor to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump. Together with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, he forms Trump's leadership team. Kushner is said to be President Trump's most trusted advisor, showing "unwavering loyalty" to his father-in-law.
He was principal owner of the real estate holding and development company Kushner Companies and of Observer Media, publisher of the weekly, on-line New York Observer. On January 9, 2017, Kushner was named to be a Senior White House Adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump. As a result, Kushner resigned as CEO of his family's real estate company and as publisher of the Observer. He also divested "substantial assets".
Kushner is the elder son of American real estate developer Charles Kushner and is married to Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump. He was among the senior advisors of Trump's presidential campaign, and stated that he played a major role in developing Trump's digital media strategy.
In 2007, Kushner made the most expensive single-building property purchase in US history, acquiring 666 Fifth Avenue for $1.8 billion. In 2011, Kushner brought in Vornado Realty Trust as a 50% equity partner in the ownership of the building.
Kushner was born in Livingston, New Jersey, and is the elder son of Seryl Kushner (née Stadtmauer) and real estate developer Charles Kushner. His paternal grandparents, Rae and Joseph Kushner, were Holocaust survivors who came to the U.S. from Poland[a] in 1949; Joseph became a prominent real estate businessman. He has a brother, Joshua (also a businessman), and two sisters, Nicole and Dara. He is also a nephew of Murray Kushner, the owner of Kushner Real Estate Group. Kushner Real Estate Group is separate from Kushner Companies, which Murray Kushner started in 2000.
Kushner was raised in a Modern Orthodox Jewish family in New Jersey. He graduated from the Frisch School, a private, coed yeshiva high school in 1999. According to, a spokeswoman for Kushner Companies, he was an honors student and a member of the debate, hockey, and basketball teams while at Frisch.
In 2003, Kushner graduated cum laude from Harvard College with a A.B. (Bachelor of Arts), with a major in government. He lived in Kirkland House. While a student at Harvard, Kushner was a member of the Fly Club and bought and sold buildings in Somerville, Massachusetts, earning a $20 million profit. According to journalist Daniel Golden, Kushner and his brother Joshua were admitted to Harvard after their father had made a $2.5 million donation to the university.
In 2007, Kushner graduated from New York University where he earned a J.D. and M.B.A.; his father had previously made a $3 million donation to NYU in 2001. He interned at Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's office and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
Kushner is a real estate investor and has increased the Kushner Companies's presence in the New York City real estate market as a principal in his family's real estate company. His father, Charles Kushner, was arrested on charges of tax evasion, illegal campaign donations, and witness tampering in 2004 and was eventually convicted on all charges (by the then U.S. Attorney Chris Christie) and sentenced to two years in federal prison.
Kushner Companies purchased the office building at 666 Fifth Avenue in 2007, for a then-record price of $1.8 billion, most of it borrowed. However, following the property crash in 2008, the cash flow generated by the property was insufficient to cover its debt service, and the Kushners were forced to sell the retail portion in the building to Stanley Chera for more than $1 billion and bring in Vornado Realty Trust as a 50% equity partner in the ownership of the building.
He assumed the role of CEO of Kushner Companies in 2008. On August 18, 2014, Kushner acquired a three-building apartment portfolio in Middle River, Maryland, for $37.9 million with Aion Partners. In 2013–14, he and his company acquired more than 11,000 units throughout New York, New Jersey, and the Baltimore area. In May 2015, he purchased 50.1% of the Times Square Building from Africa Israel Investments Ltd. for $295 million.
In 2015, Kushner scored spot No. 25 on Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 list ranking the most influential young people in business.
At age 25, Kushner purchased the New York Observer, a weekly New York City newspaper, for $10 million, using money he says he earned during his college years by closing deals on residential buildings in Somerville, Massachusetts, with family members providing the backing for his investments.
After purchasing the Observer, Kushner published it in tabloid format. Since then, he has been credited with increasing the Observer's online presence and expanding the Observer Media Group. Very young and with no substantial experience in journalism, Kushner could not establish a good relationship with the newspaper's veteran editor-in-chief, Peter W. Kaplan. “This guy doesn’t know what he doesn’t know,” Kaplan remarked about Kushner, to colleagues, at the time.  As a result of his differences with Kushner, Kaplan quit his position. Kaplan was followed by a series of short-lived successors until Kushner hired Elizabeth Spiers in 2011. In December 2011, the New York Post reported that the Observer expected to become profitable for the first time. Spiers left the newspaper in 2012. In January 2013, Kushner hired a new editor-in-chief, Ken Kurson. Kurson had been a consultant to Republican political candidates in New Jersey and one-time member of Rudy Giuliani's unsuccessful 2008 presidential primary campaign.
According to Vanity Fair, under Kushner, the "Observer has lost virtually all of its cultural currency among New York’s elite, but the paper is now profitable and reporting traffic growth ... [it] boasts 6 million unique visitors per month, up from 1.3 million in January 2013". In April 2016, the New York Observer became one of only a handful of newspapers to officially endorse United States presidential candidate Donald Trump in the Republican primary, but the paper ended the campaign period by choosing not to back any presidential candidate at all.
Kushner stepped down from his newspaper role in January 2017 to pursue a role in President Donald Trump's administration. He was replaced by his brother-in-law, Joseph Meyer.
Jared Kushner had been a life-long Democrat and had made major donations to its candidates for years before reportedly undergoing an "ideological conversion" and supporting the 2015–16 Trump campaign. Kushner has had no prior involvement in retail politics or in government before his father-in-law, Trump's, campaign.
From the outset of the presidential campaign of his father-in-law Donald Trump, Kushner was the architect of Trump's digital, online and social media campaigns, enlisting talent from Silicon Valley to run a 100-person social-media team dubbed "Project Alamo". Kushner has also helped as a speechwriter and was tasked with working to establish a plan for Trump's White House transition team should he be elected. He was for a time seen as Trump's de facto campaign manager, succeeding Corey Lewandowski, who was fired in part on Kushner's recommendation in June 2016. He has been intimately involved with campaign strategy, coordinating Trump's visit in late August to Mexico and he was believed to be responsible for the choice of Mike Pence as Trump's running mate. Kushner's "sprawling digital fundraising database and social media campaign" has been described as "the locus of his father-in-law’s presidential bid".
According to Eric Schmidt, "Jared Kushner is the biggest surprise of the 2016 election, Best I can tell, he actually ran the campaign and did it with essentially no resources." Eric Schmidt said, "Jared understood the online world in a way the traditional media folks didn't. He managed to assemble a presidential campaign on a shoestring using new technology and won. That's a big deal. Remember all those articles about how they had no money, no people, organizational structure? Well, they won, and Jared ran it." Peter Thiel said "If Trump was the CEO, Jared was effectively the chief operating officer.”
On July 5, 2016, Kushner wrote an open letter in the New York Observer addressing the controversy around a tweet from the Trump campaign containing allegedly antisemitic imagery. He was responding to his own paper's editorial by Dana Schwartz criticizing Kushner's involvement with the Trump campaign. In the letter, Kushner wrote, "In my opinion, accusations like “racist” and “anti-Semite” are being thrown around with a carelessness that risks rendering these words meaningless."
During the presidential transition, Kushner was said to be his father-in-law's "confidant" and one of Donald Trump's closest advisors, even more so than Trump's four adult children. Trump was reported to have requested the top-secret security clearance for him to attend the Presidential daily intelligence briefings as his staff-level companion, along with General Mike Flynn who already had the clearance prior to his resignation.
The Washington Post, New York Times and numerous other national news authorities explain Kushner was an influential factor behind the firing of New Jersey governor Chris Christie as head of the transition team, as well as the dismissal from the Donald Trump transition team of anyone connected to Christie. A source familiar with the Trump campaign explained that “Jared doesn’t like Christie. He’s always held [the prosecution of his father, Charles Kushner] against Christie.” Kushner told Forbes that the reports that he was involved in Christie's dismissal were false: “Six months ago Governor Christie and I decided this election was much bigger than any differences we may have had in the past, and we worked very well together. The media has speculated on a lot of different things, and since I don't talk to the press, they go as they go, but I was not behind pushing out him or his people.”
In January 2017, Kushner was named a Senior White House Advisor to President Trump. Kushner's appointment was questioned on the basis of a 1967 anti-nepotism law. On January 20, 2017 the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion stating "the President may appoint relatives to his immediate staff of advisors." Kushner was sworn in on January 22, 2017.
Trump put Kushner in charge of brokering peace in Israeli–Palestinian conflict as well as making deals with foreign countries. Furthermore, after Donald Trump became President-elect, Kushner and his wife met with Japanese Prime Minister and other Japanese officials while his wife was conducting a licensing deal between her namesake clothing brand and a Japanese government-owned company. His wife sat in on a meeting between her father, then President-elect Donald Trump and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In February 2017, his wife Ivanka Trump was a surprise attendee at the Chinese Embassy’s New Year’s party. In late March 2017 he was also given the new role of leading the "White House Office of American Innovation".
Kushner married Ivanka Trump, daughter of businessman and U.S. president Donald Trump, in a Jewish ceremony on October 25, 2009. Modern Orthodox Jews, Kushner and Trump have three children.
Neither of them are Republicans. [... Kushner] is a Democrat whose dad, Charles, was a bigtime donor to the Democratic Party, including Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign.
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|Senior Advisor to the President
With: Stephen Miller