How Kushner built Trump’s social media campaign

Developer stays coy about his own future

TRD New York /
Nov.November 22, 2016 05:10 PM
Donald Trump and Jared Kushner (credit: Getty)

Donald Trump and Jared Kushner (credit: Getty)

Jared Kushner earned praise for spearheading a Moneyball-styled online campaign that helped make Donald Trump president, but when he first set out he knew little about the practice.

“I called somebody who works for one of the technology companies that I work with, and I had them give me a tutorial on how to use Facebook micro-targeting,” he told Forbes.

With the help of his own — and his brother Josh’s — Silicon Valley connections he built up a social media team that ran Trump’s online outreach out of San Antonio, Texas. The team’s ability to reach a wide audience on a limited budget won it praise from Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

Jared TRData LogoTINY 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,” Schmidt told Forbes. “Remember all those articles about how they had no money, no people, organizational structure? Well, they won, and Jared ran it.”

Kushner was coy about his own plans under the Trump administration. “There’s a lot of people who have been asking me to get involved in a more official capacity,” he said. “I just have to think about what that means for my family, for my business and make sure it’d be the right thing for a multitude of reasons.”

Kushner also said he had nothing to do with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his people getting the boot from leading the transition to the White House.

“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,” he told Forbes. “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.”

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch thinks Kushner will stay close to power no matter what. “I assume he’ll be in the White House throughout the entire presidency,” he said. “For the next four or eight years he’ll be a strong voice, maybe even the strongest after the vice president.” [Forbes]Konrad Putzier

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