Kushner holds increasing sway over Trump campaign: report

Son-in-law and CEO of Kushner Cos. weighed in on running mates, influences policy

Donald Trump speaking in Greenville, SC (credit: Donald Trump campaign) and Jared Kushner
Donald Trump speaking in Greenville, SC (credit: Donald Trump campaign) and Jared Kushner

On Tuesday night, Donald Trump gave a speech aimed at reassuring Republicans in the wake of his recent personal attacks on a federal judge. Its content aside, the speech was notable in two ways. In a break from Trump’s improvisational style, he read it off two teleprompters. And it was written in part by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Kushner has taken a bigger role in Trump’s presidential campaign than previously known, according to a report by the Associated Press. The developer and CEO of Kushner Companies, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, helped select potential running mates and influenced the campaign’s policy, fundraising efforts and data strategy. He even joined an hour-long meting between Trump and House speaker Paul Ryan last month. He also reportedly contacted Henry Kissinger to discuss Trump’s foreign policy.

Predictably, some Trump campaign staffers are unhappy about the developer’s influence, arguing that he lacks the necessary political experience, according to AP. In one instance, a staffer had what he thought was a private phone call with Trump when he suddenly heard Kushner’s voice in the background. Turned out he was on speakerphone, and Kushner was listening in.

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The Real Deal reported in March that Kushner’s role in the Trump campaign appears to clash with his own and his family’s past as supporters of the Democratic party.

Asher Abehsera of development firm LIVWRK, who partnered with Kushner on the Dumbo Heights development, said Kushner’s role in the campaign hasn’t had a major impact on his real estate work. “You wouldn’t know anything about it even if you interact with him multiple times a day,” he told AP. [AP]Konrad Putzier