Apollo co-founder Joshua Harris, whose firm has loaned hundreds of millions to Kushner Cos., was in talks shortly after the election to become Trump's budget director, per the Guardian. The approach to Harris was initiated by Jared Kushner: https://t.co/sTneDJ9zYk— erica orden (@eorden) April 9, 2018
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner, reportedly tried to set up a White House job for a senior private equity executive before the executive’s company handed over millions of dollars in loan to Kushner’s family real estate firm.
In 2016, just months after President Donald Trump presidential victory, Joshua Harris, the billionaire co-founder of Apollo Global Management, was considered as a candidate for the Office of Management and Budget director.
According to sources, Harris’ candidacy was backed by Kushner. However, he later withdrew because the financial disclosure was “too complicated” for him and he was allotted a short time to straighten out his personal finances.
Interestingly, just a year after the development, Kushner’s family firm, Kushner Companies, received a $184 million loan by Apollo Global Management. The loan was a big deal because it was one of the largest loans Kushner Companies received in 2017.
According to The New York Times, Harris paid regular visits to the White House and was also advising the Trump administration officials on infrastructure policy.
However, both Kushner and Harris’ attorneys denied the claim that the executive was offered a position in the White House.
“Mr. Harris never applied for, was offered or accepted any position at OMB,” said a spokesperson for Harris.
Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Kushner, said, “Nothing about this assertion is accurate. Mr. Kushner did not discuss any business concerning his former company in any meetings after he entered government, and he did not discuss the OMB or any position with him and did not (and could not) offer Josh Harris or anyone else the OMB position.”
In February, The New York Times also reported that Kushner Companies not only got the loan from Apollo but also one from Citigroup. The investment banking company reportedly lent $325 million to Kushner’s firm.
The hefty loan from Citigroup also came after Kushner met with chief executive Michael L. Corbat in the White House.
The White House denied that its lawyers are investigating Kushner for potentially violating ethical laws.
Although the Office of Government Ethics had indicated that it had begun looking into any relation between Kushner's meetings with business executives and loans his family's company subsequently received, it did not say it had launched a formal investigation.
Following reports of the loan, U.S. Democratic lawmakers asked the White House and Kushner Companies for documents following reported loans. Critics and ethics monitors have frequently raised concerns about the Trump family’s business holdings and the president’s refusal to place his business in a blind trust while he is in office.