Wednesday Evening Open Thread: “All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner”

I’m petty enough to be pleased that Jill Abramson is feeling maybe just a little revenged on her NYTimes ex-colleagues. From her new post at the Guardian:

Game of Trumps is about to get really bloody. With special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation moving ever closer to President Trump himself, it looks like someone inside the family is about to be sacrificed.

Consider this chronology. On 23 November it was widely reported that Flynn had informed the Trump legal team that he could no longer discuss the case with them. The end of cooperation with Trump surely signalled the beginning of cooperation with Mueller. Two days later the New York Times and Washington Post carried nearly identical stories about Jared Kushner’s waning influence.

The Times story had three bylines, including Maggie Haberman, the president’s go-to reporter. It concluded: “Mr Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who had been in seemingly every meeting and every photograph, has lately disappeared from public view and, according to some colleagues, taken on a more limited role behind the scenes.”…

Someone high up in the White House seemed anxious for the word to spread. The Times story was attributed, in part, to three “advisers to the president”. Parker’s included an earlier interview with Kushner and came “from interviews with Kushner himself, as well as 12 senior administration officials, aides, outside advisers and confidants, some speaking on condition of anonymity to offer a more candid assessment”…

Apart from schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

128 replies
  1. 1
    Mnemosyne says:

    Only fools and Republican voters would think that Jared was acting without directions from Daddy Trump, so of course the New York Times bought that line hook, line and sinker.

    Yeah, I’m probably going to sign off for the night. I really can’t take any more Republican ratfucking today.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    If Democrats or Balloon Juice had been around 225 years ago, Salem would have been known for the Salem Witch Summary Executions. No witnesses, investigations, or trials necessary.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Tim in SF says:

    I’ll be getting drunk on schadenfreudenberry wine.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    Feebog says:

    I’m down in Cabo San Lucas for a little R and R. About ready to walk downtown and have dinner at the marina. Will catch you all later.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    Mnemosyne says:

    Oh, in nonpolitical news, it looks like the authorization for my MRI came through since I got a text message telling me to schedule my appointment. So there’s that.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Feebog:

    I haven’t been there in ages, but the little town of San Luis (?) Del Cabo was cute, and there was a hotel restaurant/bar there that had terrific sangria.

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    Corner Stone says:

    including Maggie Haberman, the president’s go-to reporter stenographer

    It was implied, obvs.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    LeeM says:

    I can see Trump gathered around the table with family. He’s thinking “son, son, daughter, wife, not blood family.” “Sorry Jared, you got to take this.”

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    Yarrow says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s good news. Seems like you’ve been waiting a long time.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    Mike in DC says:

    Prediction: Jared will leave the WH in early February, and be indicted either just before or just after Manafort’s trial. Kushner’s indictment will be the first time Mueller’s office will make direct reference to the conspiracy between the campaign and the Russians. Trump will soil 3 pairs of pants when this happens. Putin will kill an underling for stress relief.

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    Corner Stone says:

    It’s lower 40’s F here with a slight drizzle off and on. I wish it could stay for a while but I fear the return of the 80 F Xmas week shortly.

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    Yarrow says:

    @LeeM: I don’t know. Seems like Trump thinks of Jared like the son he never had. He clearly doesn’t care about Jr. or Eric.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    Revenge? Maybe she should should get her NYT tattoo removed first.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yarrow:

    It’s only been about a week since I saw the orthopedist, but it did take forever to get that particular authorization. I still don’t know if my doctor’s office screwed up that request or if the HMO dragged their feet.

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yarrow: Trump don’t give One F about any of them. Mueller’s all up in his bubble now. Get ready for the “I don’t know him” comments to start pouring forth.

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    Yarrow says:

    @Mnemosyne: I keep seeing you saying things like you’re using the cart to get around Target or you’re icing your knee. Seems like a long time to be dealing with that. I hope you can get some treatment that will help you be more comfortable.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    @Mnemosyne: Good news. A word of advice if you’ve never had an MRI before, if the tech offers you earplugs, accept the offer. Those machines are loud, and you’re stuck right in the middle of it.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    JR says:

    @Mnemosyne: San Jose

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    Corner Stone says:

    Mariah Carey to the courtesy phone, please. Mariah, you’re needed at the house courtesy phone.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    dmsilev says:

    But if Trump throws Jared under the bus, who will bring peace to the Middle East? Ivanka?

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    Yarrow says:

    @Corner Stone: Oh, of course. Trump will throw all of them under the bus before he goes down. Trump will toss his kids to the wolves before he takes the blame for anything. If Don Jr. is trying to save himself by not implicating Daddy he’s dumber than I thought.

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    If the snippet I saw on MSNBC is true. And Russia can be proven to have bought Trump’s debt. This shit is about to get Unreal Tournament style real.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    scott (the other one) says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Putin will kill an underling for stress relief.

    I wonder. One suspects this was all far more successful than Putin ever dared imagine it would be. But is he like Trump, and actually unhappy about that, or is he delighted, no matter how much chaos results? Surely there’s a ceiling on how fucked up he wants this all to get, yes? He’s rational in that way?

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    mardam422 says:

    “… who had been in seemingly every meeting and every photograph, has lately disappeared from public view….
    For Chrssakes. This is getting like the USSR in the last half of last century.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Putin will kill an underling for stress relief.

    Trump is considered one of his underlings.

    Interesting times.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    MomSense says:

    @scott (the other one):

    Hasn’t he already had 9’or 10 underlings killed?

    Some underlings from the doling program were killed as well. Everyone watch Icarus!

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    Dave says:

    @scott (the other one): I’ve had the impression Putin is a long term thinker at least not when it comes to grand strategy. While he may be willing to settle for chaos this may be turning into a catastrophic success for him. He wouldn’t be the first person in history to succeed more completely than they thought they would and in doing so screwed themselves. Though I still think odds are he survives just fine.

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne: Good news. Did you have to sic your advocates on them? Or did they contact you before you put that in motion?

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    I have the best, classiest, most luxurious dentures, evah!

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    TenguPhule says:

    @scott (the other one):

    Surely there’s a ceiling on how fucked up he wants this all to get, yes? He’s rational in that way?

    He’s currently throwing a Tantrum over Russia being banned from the winter Olympics.

    You decide how rational he is.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    WaterGirl says:

    @Corner Stone: Trump never even met Jared until yesterday!

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    This shit is about to get Unreal Tournament style real.

    Campers on the respawn zone?

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    WaterGirl says:

    @dmsilev:

    if Trump throws Jared under the bus, who will bring peace to the Middle East?

    hahaha

    That’s rotating tag material!

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Jared, so the Jew tossed under the bus by Trump. Now there is shocker.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    WaterGirl says:

    @MomSense: doling program?

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    Steeplejack says:

    I recently discovered a quirky little British comedy called Raised by Wolves. Two seasons, 13 episodes. Dysfunctional lower-class family in Wolverhampton. Single mother Della with daughters Germaine, Aretha and Yoko, plus a couple of smaller kids and Granddad. Clips and some episodes available on YouTube for sampling.

    Wi-fi outage.

    Clubbing.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Mary G says:

    Uday is still testifying.

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    ruemara says:

    @Corner Stone: So… strafing runs?

    @Dave: I’m hoping he has a terrible horrible shaving accident that cuts off his head. Tragic, really. I’m out, last workout for the week, so I gotta hit the gym early & hard for a weekend of having to eat out.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    Obama promised me a pie, but all I got was this lousy job.

    Bullshit he did.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mary G: That’s before congress, right? Not Mueller?

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Yarrow:

    Seems like Trump thinks of Jared like the son he never had.

    Ah, someone who shares my grand unified theory of the psychosexual dynamics of La Familia Trump…

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @scott (the other one): An On Line friend who lived in Russia until recently said the word over there is Putin is like the dog who caught the big yellow bus.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Yarrow says:

    Just when you think they can’t get any stupider.

    “Trump + Jared figure that after…a few days of riots, things go back to normal when it comes to the negotiations.” https://t.co/PWSwL3k2Wx— Annie Karni (@anniekarni) December 6, 2017

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    different-church-lady says:

    The Times story had three bylines, including Maggie Haberman, the president’s go-to reporter.

    What is it about the NYT that makes them keep hiring Judith Millers over and over again?

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Get ready for the “I don’t know him” comments to start pouring forth.

    I’m just waiting for the day we’re informed that Donald Trump is a nobody who hasn’t been part of the Republican party for very long, and his only job was to get coffee.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    Yarrow says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The really creepy theory, now with added, “Ewww…gross!” That one?

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yarrow: wow, that’s unbelievably stupid, even for them.

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    Manyakitty says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yay!

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yarrow: Jesus Wept.

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    Spanky says:

    @Mary G:

    Uday is still testifying.

    But it’s past his beddie-bye! I’ll bet he’s cranky. I hope there’s video of the meltdown.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    WaterGirl says:

    @Spanky: If he’s lying in his testimony, he’s probably in deep do-do. I don’t see how you could keep lies straight under questioning for that long.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: Baud. He’s there now. Cole sent him as the Extra Special Balloon Juice Envoy. There’s even a song:

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    Manyakitty says:

    @scott (the other one): Putin is chaotic evil, as is Trump. Putin is probably less stupid, though.

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    WaterGirl says:

    Tomorrow is a new episode of Stay Tuned with Preet. He had a special 15-minute episode on Sunday to talk about Michael Flynn’s guilty plea.

    Compared to everything else I’ve seen on the internet, he has a different idea about the fact that there aren’t very many charges” and what that means. I’m anxious to see what his show is about tomorrow.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    jay says:

    Everyone is making fun of Trump slurring his words and it’s funny…but have you ever heard Nancy Pelosi speak to reporters or in a town hall, etc? She is FUCKING TERRIBLE. Easily one of the worst public speakers in D.C. Remember when her and Chuck Schumer thought they were getting the better of Trump? They were fking stupid to think that. “Hur hur we gots a deal on DACA hur hur.”

    But it was Chuck’s turn to be majority leader and Pelosi leads the California delegation, so what are you to do? Find better leaders and move the fk on from the last generation? Pelosi was great in 2006. That was a decade ago.

    Biggest political mistake Obama made was letting the Clinton rot into his administration. He should have booted her, remade the party, and moved on. What a fking shame.

    People think the anti-Trump vote has to break for the Dems next year. People are underestimating how much desire there is to see both parties replaced by something else. And it’s starting to feel like outside the right and left bubbles that movement toward something new might emerge and bury both of these useless, out-dated, self-serving political establishments.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    dmsilev says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So, Baud is basically the Lord High Everything Else from _The Mikado_?

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JR: I think it’s something like this:

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MomSense: It’s like being the #3 guy in ISIS or al Qaeda…

    ReplyReply
  60. 60

    NPR reporting leaks that Franken plans to resign at his thing tomorrow.

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    TenguPhule says:

    @jay:

    And it’s starting to feel like outside the right and left bubbles that movement toward something new might emerge and bury both of these useless, out-dated, self-serving political establishments.

    That’s just the refried beans talking.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Dave: Mid level checkist apparatchik. Was made Deputy Mayor of Saint Petersburg where he got in with the Russian mob. It is unclear if he rode them all the way up or they rode him all the way up. And then he solidified things by personally guaranteeing to Yeltsin that he would protect Yeltsin’s family and the wealth that had been squirreled away for them after Yeltsin died. From there he consolidated power.

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Here’s hoping Franken punks NPR.

    Nice Polite Republicans can all DIAF.

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That is a pretty picture!

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    GregB says:

    Poor Vlad, just as he gains a strong foothold in the Middle East, his flunky Red Don fucks it all up.

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dmsilev:

    Last time (12 years ago), they gave me headphones and let me listen to the radio. Hopefully I’ll get to do that again.

    @JR:

    Yes! I knew I was going to mess that up. In my defense, it was close to 20 years ago now.

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
  68. 68
    NobodySpecial says:

    @jay: Cool story, bro.

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: Correct. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Yep.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That the one full of GOP sockpuppets, correct?

    ReplyReply
  72. 72
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Your health care is very poky. Hope that the MRI can be scheduled soon.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @different-church-lady: There’s an endowed position. Like an academic chair.

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    Manyakitty says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Warren 😍😍😍

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Spanky: That’s the other one. Because of today’s testimony no one took him for ice cream this afternoon and he’s standing in front of his building waiting and very confused.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    debit says:

    @jay:

    Pelosi was great in 2006. That was a decade ago.

    Really? Name one other congressperson who could have kept that bunch of jackals in the house in lockstep and with iron resolve. Go on, I’m waiting.

    I don’t recognize your name, but based on this one comment I don’t care for you. Clinton bashing: check. Democrat bashing: check: Obama bashing: check check check.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WaterGirl:

    They got back to me within a week of my orthopedist appointment, so I’m happy. It looks like it may be the same place where I had my biopsy a couple of years ago. If so, I’m annoyed that I’ll have to drive 45 minutes to get there, but the staff was really nice.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    debbie says:

    @Dave:

    There’s a Frontline documentary from a couple years ago that’s worth watching: “Putin’s Way.”

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: You don’t need to know that. Nor can I divulge that information at this time.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @LeeM: If he can find a way to pin it all on Melania, I think he will. After all, she’s overdue to be replaced.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Mike in DC: @Mike in DC: Sounds about right to me!

    ReplyReply
  82. 82

    @debit: Lots of new nyms today. Putin must have given his minion new marching orders.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mary G:

    I have a feeling he’s not holding up as well as Hillary did.

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Devin Nunes, Proprietor.

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @jay:
    This is so fucking retarded. I’m sure the hippies in 1968 thought they were going to destroy the system. So did OWS. And you know what happened in each case? Reagan was elected 12 years later (not to mention Nixon the same year and again in ’72) and the GOP has united control over the federal government 6 years after OWS.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Manyakitty: You’re welcome.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Manyakitty says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Lovely!

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    Eric S. says:

    @dmsilev: This! Tale the ear plugs. I was shocked how loud it was the first time I had one.

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    Roger Moore says:

    @different-church-lady:

    What is it about the NYT that makes them keep hiring Judith Millers over and over again?

    The simplest explanation is that they want Republican stenographers. When they’re forced by bad publicity to dump one, they just hire another one who doesn’t have loser stink all over her.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
  91. 91
    Another Scott says:

    TheRealDeal from September 2016:

    Kushner has been in the spotlight recently — for his leadership role in presidential candidate Donald Trump’s inner circle; for appearing on the witness list for the Bridgegate trial to testify against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s allies; and for closing on the $340 million purchase of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower building in Dumbo in one of Brooklyn’s priciest deals to date.

    I guess that’s why he didn’t want Christie to be Donnie’s VP, huh.

    666 5th Avenue, Watchtower, hmmm. Maybe there’s more to this guy than we know?

    Kushner Companies have long wanted to save its debt-laden Fifth Avenue skyscraper by replacing it with one even bigger.

    The building’s co-owner said this week that it’s not happening.

    Steve Roth, chairman and CEO of Vornado Realty Trust, said during his company’s earnings call on Tuesday that rumors about tearing 666 Fifth Avenue down “and doing all manner of fairly grand development schemes” were “not feasible” and that the tower would “revert to an office building.”

    That’s bad news for the family of presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner (who divested his stake in the building before working in the White House). The Kushners had hoped to raze the building, which it acquired a decade ago for $1.8 billion, and replace it with an 80-story structure designed by the firm of the late architect Zaha Hadid.

    The current building sits a few blocks south of Trump Tower and is clad in aluminum per a 1957 design by New York architecture firm Carson & Lundin.

    The Hadid designs called for a five-story retail mall, hotel, and condominiums. Kusher Cos. hoped to attract investors all over the world, from China to Qatar to France, to the reimagined tower in an effort to relieve a $1.2 billion mortgage due in February 2019. But a proposed deal with Anbang Insurance Group, which has ties to the Chinese government, fell apart.

    Kushner, Vornado, and other lenders will likely now have to renegotiate that debt.

    Oh, and the Watchtower deal?

    […]

    The timing is relevant, because the buyer was Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. At $340 million, Kushner’s purchase of the Watchtower was one of the biggest real estate transactions in Brooklyn history.

    Kushner didn’t buy the Watchtower alone. He had help from a company called CIM Group, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles. Over the years, documents show, CIM has done at least seven real estate deals that have benefited Trump and the people around him, including Kushner. Those deals included stabilizing the scandal-plagued Trump SoHo hotel, a key Manhattan holding for Trump and his children Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr.

    At the same time, records show, CIM Group, with approximately $19.7 billion under management, has pursued an array of lucrative government contracts, pension investments, lobbying interests, and a global infrastructure fund, all of whose fortunes could benefit from a Trump presidency.

    […]

    What is CIM?

    CIM Group is certainly known at the top echelons of New York real estate. But the company itself — its character, its founders — seem to leave few traces beyond the properties in which it invests.

    “CIM stands out as being very secretive,” said Konrad Putzier, a reporter for the Real Deal magazine and website who has covered the company for several years. “The fact that we don’t even know what CIM stands for says it all.”

    A spokesman said in an email “CIM stands for CIM…that is all.”

    CIM was founded in Los Angeles in 1994 by Shaul Kuba and Avi Shemesh, two Israelis, and Richard Ressler, a former New Yorker with private equity in his family — his brother Tony Ressler co-founded industry giant Apollo Global Management with his brother-in-law, Leon Black.

    CIM’s strategy is to get good returns for investors by investing in undervalued urban real estate. The firm quickly became known in California for courting influential politicians and donating tens of thousands of dollars to a series of statewide political action committees.

    […]

    CIM Moves into New York

    Throughout the early 2000’s, CIM kept rolling up cash, in part by drawing investments from public pension funds like those in New York State and California. In 2010, when CIM made its first foray into New York, the two states had more than a billion dollars with CIM. Neither pension fund would discuss the reasons for their investments.

    It was a great time for investors with an appetite for risk and the potential big payouts. The financial crisis had wiped out big banks like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. Those that were still around were barely lending, and many New York developers were struggling to pay their bills.

    One of those was Harry Macklowe, who had acquired the site of the old Drake Hotel in Midtown Manhattan but lacked the money to build. Court records show Macklowe had tried to work out a deal to finance the project with Paul Manafort, who would later become Trump’s campaign manager, and a Ukrainian oligarch named Dmitry Firtash who had friendly relations with the Russian leader Vladimir Putin. But those negotiations went nowhere.

    Then, in January 2010, CIM partnered with Macklowe to erect what is now known as 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere. One unit later sold for $95 million.

    Later that year, CIM saw another opportunity: the Trump SoHo.

    […]

    Just after a gala ribbon-cutting for the Trump SoHo in the fall of 2007, the New York Times reported that one of principals in the building partnership, Felix Sater, had been convicted of assault for cutting a man with a broken margarita glass in a bar fight. He’d pled guilty to a stock fraud scheme. Another principal, Kazakh-born Tevfik Arif,was arrested on child-prostitution charges in Turkey. He was later acquitted.

    It was, as Berman described it, “just an endless array of scandals and connections between the financiers and Russian and Central Asian mobs.”

    Condo buyers sued Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and Donald Trump Jr., saying they lied about how many units had been sold. The Manhattan District Attorney began investigating whether there had been criminal fraud. The lawsuit was eventually settled, with the plaintiffs required to sign non-disclosure agreements. With few witnesses, the D.A. dropped its probe.

    By 2010, the partners behind Trump SoHo, were falling behind on their construction loans, and the lenders were threatening foreclosure.

    That’s when CIM stepped in with a reported $85 million lifeline.

    Important Partners

    The same month CIM saved Trump SoHo, December 2010, CIM bailed out the project’s co-developer, Tamir Sapir, on two other properties he owned: 11 Madison Avenue and the William Beaver House in Lower Manhattan. In all, CIM spent more than a half-billion dollars and gained a stake in some prime New York City properties.

    “There was a short window of opportunity that they just seized,” said the Real Deal’s Putzier.

    CIM also soon embarked on its first venture with Kushner, an office building at 200 Lafayette Street. The New York Post reported that when they sold the building in 2013 — after $30 million in renovations — the new buyer paid three times as much as Kushner and CIM had initially invested. CIM and Kushner also appeared to turn a quick profit on another jointly-purchased office building, 2 Rector Street.

    “The connection with Kushner, it’s very fitting,” Putzier said. He noted that the Kushner Companies own 20,000 apartments and 13 million square feet of office and industrial space, “but…they’re a family company, so when they do a lot of deals they usually need a partner with a lot of equity to help them, and that has often been CIM Group.”

    Kushner Companies agrees. In a statement, President Laurent Morali — who replaced Jared Kushner as the firm’s top executive after Kushner went to work in the White House — said “CIM is a strong longstanding partner with a developer’s DNA. They can work through complicated situations, are thorough and strategic, yet also make quick decisions.” The feeling is mutual: CIM said in a statement that it has “strong, collaborative relationship with the team at Kushner, which has proven to be a valuable local partner.”

    CIM also said it “has only one business relationship with a Trump-related company” — the Trump SoHo. The Trump Organization declined to comment for this story; it manages the property under the terms of a licensing agreement.

    “The headline attraction of being somehow even tacitly aligned with the President of the United States could provide an incredible fundraising opportunity if they play it right, if they spin it the right way,” said Serge Reda an adjunct professor at Fordham Business School. While the specifics of CIM’s pitch to investors are unknown, Reda said it would be expected that a private equity firm would discuss its record.

    When CIM started making deals with the Trumps and the Kushners, its executives had no idea their business partners would one day occupy the Oval Office. But now they do, and ethics experts say that puts CIM’s connections to the First Family and its significant government business dealings in a new light.

    The full extent of CIM’s government ties is not known; much of its business is private, though some investments are publicly traded. In public disclosures, CIM said it received annualized rent of $37.7 million from the General Services Administration and other federal agencies. The company said that losing business from a downsized government “could have a material adverse effect.”

    CIM also depends on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which provides a path for foreign investors in American real estate to obtain U.S. green cards. According to the non-partisan research group Opensecrets.org, CIM spent $430,000 on federal lobbying in 2015, putting it among the top ten real estate firms lobbying on that issue. CIM listed preserving the EB-5 program as a major lobbying priority.

    This is the same program that Jared Kushner’s sister Nicole Meyer, one of his siblings who now runs the family business, was recently promoting in China.

    There’s one more program CIM might benefit from, which could dwarf its profits from EB-5, rents or pensions. According to SEC disclosures, CIM has an infrastructure investment fund which it acknowledges is sensitive to “regulation” and “political events.” If Trump gets an infrastructure bill passed, funds like this could earn many millions from projects like roads and tunnels.

    Kushner is at the center of the administration’s building plans. In March, the White House announced that he would head an “Office of American Innovation” whose mandates include “creating transformational infrastructure projects.”

    “Whether the parties are doing something untoward or not, the situation creates doubt, and it will follow the President throughout his term as long as he owns his business,” said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesperson for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington or CREW. “It’s a question we shouldn’t be having to ask.” His group is suing the president for violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

    Last December, as the president-elect was preparing to move to the White House, the firm did one more deal with Trump-world: CIM helped Kushner Companies buy 85 Jay Street, a parking lot in Brooklyn, for an eye-popping $345 million.

    Poor, poor Javanka. All of these unfair criticisms….!!111

    They’re not even trying to hide their ties to Putin and the Russian Mob.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (“Fingers crossed that this posts the first time…”)

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  92. 92
    TenguPhule says:

    Ryan says Republicans to target welfare, Medicare, Medicaid spending in 2018

    Fucking Purity Ponies, you bought this pig in a poke.

    House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that congressional Republicans will aim next year to reduce spending on both federal health care and anti-poverty programs, citing the need to reduce America’s deficit.

    “We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Ryan said during an appearance on Ross Kaminsky’s talk radio show. “… Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements — because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking.”

    At this rate there will be violence.

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    debit says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Seriously. It’s gotten to the point where I feel like I should reply with, LOL, okay, comrade.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mary G:

    Uday is still testifying.

    It started at 10:00 a.m. This is the only piece of smiley news I’ve heard today.

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Sounds Legit.

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    jay says:

    @debit: yeah, you don’t want to learn or hear anything you don’t want to know or don’t like. Lots of Democrats across the country have serious reservations about the Clintons. It’s what made smearing her last year so easy. It’s why there are voters out there who voted for Obama and then voted for Trump. I’ve never been more proud of my two votes for Obama (and I voted for Hillary because she was obviously more qualified for that orange sack of shit). But I’m not some lickspittle who kisses up to the party establishment either. These election victories Democrats have had at the state and local level–that’s mostly because of the state and local Democrats, not the national party. And if you think I’m the only Dem out there that think it’s time for some of these people to make way for the next generation of leaders, then you folks aren’t going out and actually talking to Democratic voters. You’re just not. And if you think I’m some outlier Dem fed up with the party’s leadership in DC, I don’t know what to tell you. Go out and meet some new people, get off the internet and your online bubble for a while. Because if you want to beat this horrid bullshit back, you need to reconnect with your local communities and then you need to build bridges to other communities that you’ve lost touch with.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    debit says:

    @TenguPhule: I think it’s time we all consider our 2nd amendment rights.

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    dmsilev says:

    @TenguPhule: Wait, I thought the Magic Tax Cut would Magically Cause Magic Growth and hence wouldn’t increase the deficit. Are you, gasp, saying that Paul Ryan lied to us?

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    debit says:

    @jay: Bored now. Buh bye and welcome to pie.

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    TenguPhule says:

    @dmsilev:

    Are you, gasp, saying that Paul Ryan lied to us?

    I am shocked, shocked that there is armed robbery taking place in this establishment.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @jay:
    Could you learn to break up text? Nobody wants to read your stupid, poorly formatted diatribe.

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    dmsilev says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: To be fair, nobody would want to read that diatribe even if it were nicely formatted.

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    TenguPhule says:

    While whipping votes for the tax bill, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) attacked “liberal programs” for the poor and said Congress needed to stop wasting Americans’ money.

    “We’re spending ourselves into bankruptcy,” Hatch said. “Now, let’s just be honest about it: We’re in trouble. This country is in deep debt. You don’t help the poor by not solving the problems of debt, and you don’t help the poor by continually pushing more and more liberal programs through.”

    An hour in a dark alley with him and a wooden bat, that’s all I ask.

    ReplyReply
  104. 104

    @jay: how dull. You must be fun at parties.

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    You don’t help the poor by not solving the problems of debt, and you don’t help the poor by continually pushing more and more liberal programs through.”

    “Liberal programs”? What happened to this guy?

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jay: I always enjoy it when the person who styles himself the brave bold teller of uncomfortable truths says utterly banal things that are indistinguishable from the Mark Halperin both-sides-do-it-ism that has prevailed in Big Media for 30 years running.

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: It also explains some of the human trafficking for the sex trade issues at various properties. Israel is the southern node on the Russian/former Soviet state organized crime route for trafficking women for the sex trade.

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    debit says:

    @TenguPhule: Oh, now we see the violence inherent in the system!

    …maybe put a few nails in the bat first?

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    jay sounds like another commenter from a year ago, My Truth Hurts. They were also annoying and banal.

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    satby says:

    @debit: man, that guy really likes custard pie!

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    TenguPhule says:

    @debit:

    …maybe put a few nails in the bat first?

    I’m good enough not to need them.

    Plus, they tend to weaken the bat.

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    Mike in DC says:

    @Corner Stone: Interesting speculation. Russia managing Trump’s DB debt would be a smoking Battleship broadside. You can’t explain your way out of it. Even morons know what it implies.

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: He decided that being born poor in the past was his defense against destroying the poor in the present and future.

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mike in DC:

    You can’t explain your way out of it. Even morons know what it implies.

    There is nothing so obvious that the willfully ignorant can’t miss it.

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Remember, the bold, unprecedented move here is to put straight white guys in charge. Why haven’t the Democrats ever thought about doing that, huh? Huh? So much for “diversity.”

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    Shana says:

    @Steeplejack: OMG, that show looks terrific. Thanks.

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Even morons know what it implies.

    Not taking that bet.

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    Honus says:

    @TenguPhule: “I come from the poor people, and I’ve been here working my whole stinking career for people who don’t have a chance”
    Orrin Hatch, about a week ago. I guess he decided last week that the poor finally have too much money.

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    Jeffro says:

    @Yarrow: @Corner Stone: @Mike in DC:

    BREAKING NEWS: Mueller investigation has uncovered – through Trump’s tax records – that Russian interests own almost $1B of the Trump Organization’s outstanding debt

    BREAKING NEWS: Mueller set to file money laundering and RICO charges against Trump Organization, including Trump, Trump Jr. Kushner, Manafort, etc etc

    BREAKING NEWS: Trump agrees to deal – resign office and give full accounting of money laundering across 3+ decades plus deals with Russian mob, Putin in exchange for no RICO charges

    BREAKING NEWS: 16 GOP primary opponents try to pretend like they stuck to their guns and demanded tax returns back during primaries

    BREAKING NEWS: 62 million GOP voters try to pretend like they asked for Trump’s returns before voting for him in 2016, but “what could we do? The alternative was voting for a Democrat…a CLINTON!”

    Hacking schmacking…hit ’em where it hurts…

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    geg6 says:

    @jay:

    Fuck off. Boot your own ass out.

    ReplyReply
  121. 121
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jay: Seth Moulton, is it you?

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    divF says:

    @jay: TL;DR. pied.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    glory b says:

    @TenguPhule: “That’s just the refried beans talking.”

    Okay, I almost spit out a mouthful of tea at that one.

    ReplyReply
  124. 124
    glory b says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I know, right?

    ReplyReply
  125. 125
    Shalimar says:

    @jay: You spend all your energy bitching at Dems, and your first post was wishing for a 3rd party to take over and rid you of the evil of having to vote for Democrats. If you’re a Dem, you suck at it.

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    Citizen_X says:

    @jay: Wow, earlier you were telling us how people gonna break up the two parties, and now you’re the True Voice of the Democratic rank and file. Amazing how you’ve gone on this journey in the course of a couple of hours! Can’t wait to find out what happens next!

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    J R in WV says:

    @different-church-lady:

    What is it about the NYT that makes them keep hiring Judith Millers over and over again?

    Maybe that’s what they want and need for those positions? No other reason I can think of~!!

    ReplyReply
  128. 128
    Felony Govt (formerly Old Broad in California) says:

    @jay: How presumptuous of you to assume that we aren’t involved in politics in our communities and that somehow we have our heads in the sand.

    ReplyReply

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