Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has emerged as a significant influence within the policy-making apparatus of the White House. After a rather public imbroglio with Trump’s strategic policy adviser Stephen Bannon over the U.S. cruise missile attack on the Shayrat airbase in Syria, Kushner is “in,” as they often say in Washington, and Bannon is “out.” In any case, the anti-globalist faction, which is led by Bannon, has received verbal “thumbs down” on several fronts from Trump.
Trump’s adoption of Clintonesque Democratic Party policies of opposing the Syrian government, confronting Russia, supporting NATO, backing the U.S. Export-Import (EXIM) Bank, and militarily confronting North Korea and China in East Asia have neoconservatives and globalists cheering but many within Trump’s political base of “America First” nationalists and libertarians crying foul.
The warning signs that Kushner was fronting for the neoconservatives was always present. His media company, Observer Media, which publishes the weekly online New York Observer, prominently featured several neoconservative writers. Kushner, who also led the real estate firm Kushner Companies, turned over control of the newspaper to his brother-in-law after being named as senior adviser to President Trump. Kushner inherited a real estate empire from his father, Charles Kushner. In 2007, Jared Kushner made the largest single purchase of a single building in U.S. history, he paid $1.8 billion for a 41-story building at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. In 2015, Jared Kushner bought a 50.1 percent share in the Time Square Building in Manhattan from Africa Israel Investments, Ltd. (AFI), an investment and holding company owned by Israeli-Uzbek diamond magnate Lev Leviev. In what could spell trouble for U.S. relations with the Palestine and Africa, AFI has been involved in the building of illegal settlements on the West Bank and the acquisition of diamonds from Africa’s bloodiest of conflict zones.
AFI and its subsidiary, Danya Cebus, have been subjected to disinvestments by a number of governments and companies over its West Bank activities. In August 2010, the Norwegian pension fund divested in the two firms. Leviev is also involved in dodgy casino operations, which puts him in the same business circles as casino operator Trump. In 2009, Playtech Cyprus, Ltd., one of AFI’s companies, began providing casino equipment to a new casino in Bucharest, Romania. Playtech was started in 1999 by four Israelis, Teddy Sagi, Elad Cohen, Rami Beinish, and Amnon Ben-Zion. Playtech’s online gambling software is primarily provided by software programmers in Estonia. Sagi is a convicted stock fraudster, having been convicted of fraud in the 1996 ”Discount Bank affair,” a stock and bond manipulation scheme that shook the Tel Aviv business community. Leviev’s Africa diamond mining operations involve several “former” Mossad officers, most notably in Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Namibia, and Angola.
The narrow gap of separation between Jared Kushner and some of Israel’s top gangsters is cause for alarm. This situation became especially acute after it was revealed that Kushner failed to provide all the requested information on his national security questionnaire forms concerning his contacts with foreign persons and interests, has led for congressional calls for his security clearance to be suspended.
The feud between Jared Kushner and Bannon is not the first personality conflict Kushner has had with members of the Trump team. The first demonstration of Kushner’s powerful influence over Trump was evidenced in his firing of Trump transition team chairman New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his loyalists, who included former U.S. Representative Mike Rogers and Matthew Freedman. For Kushner, the firings were an ultimate payback for Christie. While the U.S. Attorney for Northern New Jersey, Christie successfully prosecuted Kushner’s father for tax evasion, witness tampering, and illegal campaign contributions. Christie wanted a three-year prison sentence for the elder Kushner but he ended up serving a year at a federal penitentiary in Alabama.
Christie’s federal law enforcement investigation discovered that Charles Kushner tried to lure his brother-in-law and employee, William Schulder, into a prostitution honey trap at the Red Bull Inn motel in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The elder Kushner paid $10,000 to a high-end prostitute, who reportedly worked for a Manhattan escort agency linked to the Mossad, to lure Schulder into a trap, complete with a videotape system, designed to prevent him from testifying on behalf of Christie at Kushner’s trial. After Schulder’s wife was sent a videotape of the tryst at the motel, Christie managed to not only ensure that an embarrassed but angered Schulder remained a star witness but also got the prostitute to testify against Kushner. Another witness for the prosecutors, Robert Yontef, Kushner’s chief bookkeeper, was also subjected to a Kushner prostitution trap and a “smoking gun” videotape arranged by another call girl hired by Kushner.
Charles Kushner also managed to get New Jersey Democratic Governor Jim McGreevey to appoint him to the New York-New Jersey Port Authority Commission, which owned the World Trade Center, a plum position on 9/11 for a suspected asset of Israel’s Mossad. Hudson County and Jersey City law enforcement authorities were well-aware that Mossad elements were involved in many of the intelligence activities surrounding and in support of the 9/11 event in the months leading up to the attack in 2001.
The Kushner family appears to relish the politics of revenge and blackmail as McGreevey discovered the hard way.
While he was mayor of Woodbridge, McGreevey met an Israeli intelligence asset named Golan Cipel during a 2000 fact finding trip to Israel arranged by Charles Kushner, who was a generous donor to McGreevey’s political coffers. Although the trip was sponsored by the United Jewish Federation of MetroWest, the goal was to ensure future loyalty from an up-and-coming New Jersey politician being groomed for governor of his state. Cipel was the chief spokesman for the Israeli city of Rishon LeZion, but he soon ended up on McGreevey’s gubernatorial campaign staff, thanks to the influence, U.S. work visa clearance, and money arranged by the elder Kushner. It is noteworthy that Rishon LeZion represents one of the right-wing Likud Party’s most important bases of support in Israel. A powerful political kingmaker, Charles Kushner secured McGreevey’s Democratic nomination for the governor’s race after seeking the support of—that is, arm twisting—the Democratic Party chairmen of the counties of Union, Essex, Middlesex, and Camden.
After becoming governor, McGreevey appointed Cipel, an Israeli national and employee of Kushner, as his chief counselor on political strategy, foreign affairs, and relations with the Jewish community. But it was McGreevey’s appointment of Cipel as his director for homeland security that raised eyebrows across the state, especially after 9/11.
During McGreevey’s governorship, Cipel decided to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against the governor in Mercer County Court. Cipel, a one-time ”diplomat”—read that as a Mossad agent—at the Israeli Consulate General in New York, in a single legal action, destroyed McGreevey’s political career. The suit forced McGreevey, who was married with two children, to admit that he led a parallel and secret gay lifestyle. With that bombshell news hitting the media, McGreevey was forced to resign. Several New Jersey political observers believe that Charles Kushner was behind Cipel’s lawsuit after McGreevey did not turn out as the kind of puppet Kushner expected him to be. In fact, during the Cipel suit, McGreevey’s lawyers contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and tipped them off about a possible Kushner-Cipel extortion operation directed against the governor.
Undoubtedly, Christie, who had his eyes already set upon the New Jersey governor’s mansion in Princeton, knew all about the role that Charles Kushner played in the ultimate blackmailing of one of his predecessors as governor. With the sort of background information possessed by a federal prosecutor like Christie, who had access to wiretap transcripts gathered from the Kushner family’s phone and other communications, it is clear that Jared Kushner saw Christie as a major threat to the future Kushner family agenda within the Trump administration.
With Christie, and, possibly soon, Bannon out of the way, Jared Kushner will be able to cement his Svengali-like control over Trump. Considering the record of political muscle exercised by the Kushner klan against two New Jersey governors, one can only surmise the Kushners have a great deal of blackmailable information on Mr. Trump.
This article originally appeared in Strategic Culture Foundation on-line journal.
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).