On Wednesday, New York Times reported that private equity firm Apollo Global Management and Citigroup extended loans that amounted to more than half a billion dollars to a company owned by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Kushner, who lost his security clearance to White House following reports that he breached the ethics rule, found himself in the middle of another controversy after the report alleged that Kushner met with the top heads of the lending firms at the White House last year, after which he received an exorbitant sum of loan to aid his company’s business ventures.
According to the report, Joshua Harris, the founder of Apollo Management — whose loan refinanced the mortgage on Kushner’s Chicago skyscraper — who was advising Trump administration on infrastructure policy, also met with Jared Kushner last year. Following the meeting Apollo, which is the world’s largest private equity firm, lent $184 million to Kushner’s family real estate firm, Kushner Companies.
Kushner also reportedly met with Citigroup’s chief executive, Michael L. Corbat, at the White House. Citigroup gave Kushner Companies a sum of $325 million — one of the largest loans availed by the company last year — to help finance a group of office buildings in Brooklyn.
Kushner’s ties with his business activities while being a part of the Trump administration has been the topic of contention since he was hired by the president as White House innovations director in January 2017.
Although Kushner stepped down as the company’s CEO in 2017, after Trump was sworn in to the office, the business still remains in his family and reports suggest he is still invested in the company’s business dealings.
Apollo defended its move in extending the loan to Kushner to the New York Times. The spokesperson of Apollo, Charles V. Zehren, said the loan went through the “standard approval process” and denied that Harris had any ties in the decision to lend money to Kushner Companies.
Citigroup said there was no conjunction between the decision to lend the money to the company and Kushner’s role in the White House, since Kushner Companies had been a bank client since before the election.
In light of the new allegations, Kushner now appears to be embroiled in one controversy after another. A week ago, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) requested information from the Deutsche Bank, Signature Bank and New York Community Bank on their relationships with Kushner and his family’s real estate company, Reuters reported.
It also stated that information regarding the family members was also requested.
However, a spokesperson for Kushner Companies denied receiving any such letter of request while describing Kushner Companies as a “multibillion enterprise that is extremely financially strong.”
“Prior to our CEO voluntarily resigning to serve our country, we never had any type of inquiries,” Taylor said in an email. “These types of inquiries appear to be harassment solely for political reasons.”