Kushner and China: Where Money Talks | Mel Gurtov

Add Jared Kushner’s all-too-cozy relationship with the Chinese to the long list of Trump administration corruption, conflicts of interest, and unholy foreign entanglements.

I have reported on Kushner’s extensive real estate holdings, his and Ivanka Trump’s wealth, their significant bank debts, and his by now well known efforts to cultivate ties with the Russians.

All these activities, including his lying about Russian contacts, should, I have argued, keep him from obtaining a national security clearance and bar him from involvement in official diplomacy.

Now, Adam Entous and Evan Osnos, writing in the January 29 issue of The New Yorker, point to Kushner as the likely target of an investigation into “a member of the president’s family” whom Beijing may be seeking to influence, doubtless with the lure of money-making opportunities. Kushner has had frequent contacts with China’s ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai, both during and since the transition. We don’t know anything about the substance of their discussions.

But the FBI counterintelligence division has warned Kushner that he is a leading Chinese intelligence target and that another Chinese national, Wendy Deng Murdoch, the ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch and a friend of Kushner and Ivanka Trump, might be a Chinese spy. Yet Kushner remains a major figure on Trump’s foreign policy team, and while he has yet to receive a top-secret clearance, he continues to have access to the same top-secret reports available daily to the president himself.

Kushner and Ivanka Trump have multiple investments with Chinese partners — he in real estate, she in women’s apparel. Like Donald Trump, the Kushners make no distinction between public service and private gain; the former is used to support the latter. Reportedly, Kushner sees no reason to curtail his China activities because he cannot imagine being used by Chinese officials and business people for purposes antithetical to U.S. national security interests.

No evidence has been brought forward to show that Beijing has tried to manipulate Kushner’s commercial aims. Indeed, he supposedly stood against Steve Bannon’s hardline approach to China and believes, like Henry Kissinger (who introduced Kushner to Chinese diplomats) that regular high-level contacts with Beijing can ease tensions.

Done transparently and professionally, such engagement is fine. But Jared Kushner is a foreign-policy novice who seems, like his father-in-law, uninterested in expert opinion and all too interested in making lucrative deals. The way he has conducted his “peace plan” for the Middle East is indicative of both his amateurism and his greed, providing good reason for terminating his role as a representative of the United States.

Mel Gurtov, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University.

More in Opinion

It’s News to Me | Peter Funt

These are the best of times, and the worst of times, for… Continue reading

Kavanaugh Confirmed: Where Do We Go From Here? | Laura Finley and Matthew Johnson

The dust has settled on Judge Kavanaugh’s ascension to the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Levy’s ‘no guarantee’ gets ‘no’ vote from me

To the editor: I read Section 3 of Resolution 2018–21, and I… Continue reading

Trump’s 89th week in office | In cartoons

Welcome back to our continuing cartoon chronicle and Week 89 of Donald… Continue reading

Control of the House Runs Through Pennsylvania | John L. Micek

ERIE, Pa. - It’s a Wednesday night in October, three weeks before… Continue reading

Kushner and Trump: A Hit with the Saudis | Blair Bess

It pays to be friends with Jared Kushner. You can get away… Continue reading

Today’s cartoon for Saturday, Oct. 20

Today’s cartoon is by Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer.… Continue reading

BI city government is clueless about money | Letter to the editor

To the editor: So I recently received a post card on behalf… Continue reading

I-1639 encourages greater gun safety | Letter to the editor

To the editor: The pervasiveness of firearm-related deaths and injuries in America… Continue reading

Most Read