White House senior adviser (and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law) Jared Kushner didn’t disclose his role in a foundation established in his family’s name that played a prominent role in expanding illegal Israeli settlements over the past decade.
Kushner served as co-director for the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation from 2006 until the year his father-in-law’s presidential campaign began. During that time, the foundation helped fund the construction of Israeli settlements that are considered illegal by the international community.
Kushner failed to disclose his involvement with that foundation in papers he filed earlier this year, which is a huge breach in ethics standards that could warrant his removal from the White House, according to several experts who spoke to Newsweek on the matter.
The failure to disclose that information is problematic under ordinary circumstances. However, the problem is further compounded by Kushner’s alleged actions late in 2016, when he tried to persuade member states of the United Nations Security Council to vote against an anti-settlement resolution before them. Kushner attempted to sway that vote after the election and before Trump took office.
This isn’t the only disclosure that Kushner has failed to provide that demonstrates an ethics concern. In March of this year, Kushner did not disclose that he was a stakeholder in a rising startup company. During his time as White House adviser, that company doubled its venture earnings from private investors, allowing Kushner to reap the financial benefits while also serving in the federal government.
This pattern of lying by omission is deeply disturbing. While Kushner advises Trump on a myriad of issues, one has to wonder whether his advice has more to do with promoting the country’s interests or if it has more to do with pumping additional income into his own pocketbooks.
These ethics rules are in place to prevent such questions from needing to be asked. A person who wishes to serve in the White House must put all of their cards on the table before doing so to prevent conflicts of interest from interfering with the president’s day-to-day decision making.