The Real Deal New York

Kushner reportedly close to nabbing key White House role

Reince Priebus and Stephen Bannon pushing real estate mogul to join father-in-law’s administration, possibly in informal role

November 17, 2016 08:16AM

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner is close to being selected for a top advisor position in Donald Trump’s White House, potentially as a senior adviser or special counsel. He could even be tapped for an informal but influential role.

White House chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Trump counselor Stephen Bannon are pushing the 35-year-old Kushner Companies executive to join his father-in-law’s inner circle, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Kushner has played an integral and influential role in the Trump campaign and is considered his eyes and ears inside the continually shifting transition.

It is not clear, however, if anti-nepotism laws that ban the president from appointing family members to a job in an “agency” apply at the White House, according to the Journal. To avoid the issue, Kushner has indicated he would not take a paycheck for any work at the White House.

In order to address the kinds of potential conflicts of interest that are swirling around his Trump, Kushner’s lawyers are weighing possible “structures” that could include placing his real estate firm into a blind trust that he would have no control over.

Experts have questioned the efficacy of blind trusts when it comes to real estate firms, considering the tangible nature of their properties.

Kushner would also forego receiving any income or payments from his real-estate and media companies, people familiar with his thinking told the Journal. A top White House post would likely mean that he and his wife, Ivanka, would relocate to Washington, D.C. with their three young children.

Despite a history of animosity between Kushner and former transition-team chairman Chris Christie, sources told the Journal that decision to bump the New Jersey governor from his leadership role was made by Bannon, who was unhappy with the presence of lobbyists on the team and the conviction of two Christie aides in the Bridgegate scandal.

Kushner in recent months has named former head of acquisitions and capital markets Laurent Morali as the new president of Kushner Companies. He’s also been reaching out to potential cabinet members such as Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools, as a potential member of the education team. [WSJ] – Rich Bockmann

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