US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has “tried and failed” to get a $500 million loan from a key member of the Qatari royal family before pushing the president to toe hard line against the Persian Gulf nation, reports say.
Kushner – a real-estate developer like his father-in-law – purchased a tower at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York for $1.8 billion some years ago, but the building failed to generate enough money to cover its debts, according to The New York Times.
More than a quarter of the office space in the building has remained vacant for several years, causing huge losses to Kushner Companies.
In 2015, when Trump was launching his presidential campaign, Kushner and his father targeted Qatari billionaire Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani (HBJ) as a potential investor to save the property.
Al-Thani, who was the prime minister of Qatar from 2007 to 2013, finally agreed to invest $500 million in the property, according to The Intercept, on the condition that Kushner Companies generate the rest of the money for the project on its own.
Qatari billionaire sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani
In March this year, Kushner Companies reached out to Chinese insurance company Anbang for help. The company agreed to provide a $4 billion loan to develop the property. But weeks later, the company pulled out.
Al-Thani killed the deal as Kushner Companies could not secure the rest of the money.
Shortly after that, America’s regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt, severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.
Trump, who earlier visited Saudi Arabia, suggested he was behind the punishing moves against Qatar.
Kushner also negotiated a massive weapons deal between Saudi Arabia and American weapons manufacture Lockheed Martin which was signed during Trump’s visit to the kingdom in May.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (L), Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Interior, Muhammad bin Nayef Abdulaziz (C), and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L), walking in front of Jared Kushner (background-L) and Ivanka Trump (back-R) during an arrival ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh, on May 20, 2017. (Photo via AFP)
The $110 billion arms deal signed by Saudi King Salman and US President Donald Trump was a component of $350 billion in economic and military investments between the two countries over the next 10 years, according to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
American analysts have blamed Kushner and his father-in-law for promoting America’s armament industry by fueling conflicts in the Middle East region.