US Politics in Trump era
The coronavirus response being spearheaded by President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has relied in part on volunteers from consulting and private equity firms with little expertise in the tasks to which they were assigned, exacerbating chronic problems in obtaining supplies for hospitals and other needs, according to numerous government officials and a volunteer involved in the effort.
Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a senior adviser, has created his own team of government allies and private industry representatives to work alongside the administration’s official coronavirus task force, adding another layer of confusion and conflicting signals within the White House’s disjointed response to the crisis.
The culture that President Trump has fostered and abided by for more than three years in the White House has shaped his administration’s response to a deadly pandemic that is upending his presidency and the rest of the country, with dramatic changes to how Americans live their daily lives.
Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, repeatedly told the president that the media was exaggerating the threat posed by the coronavirus, The New York Times reported Monday. In the early weeks of the outbreak Trump attempted to downplay the severity of the illness, comparing it to the common flu, describing it as a "hoax" concocted by Democrats at a campaign rally in February, and assuring Americans that the outbreak would "disappear."
Forget “Saturday Night Live.” The best comic relief on television this weekend was Jared Kushner’s performance on Fareed Zakaria’s CNN show.The 39-year-old senior adviser to President Trump was contemptuous of John Kelly, John Bolton, Rex Tillerson and other former officials with decades of experience in fields such as business, the military and government who have been scathing in their recollections of the Trump administration.
In a now-viral tweetstorm on Saturday, President Trump characterized Rep. Elijah E. Cummings’s Baltimore-based congressional district as a “rodent infested mess” where “no human” would want to live. His criticism rang with a particular irony in Baltimore County, where presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner owns more than a dozen apartment complexes that have been cited for hundreds of code violations and, critics say, provide substandard housing to lower-income tenants.
you want to understand Jared Kushner, I recommend starting with the dimples. When Jared smiles, his dimples do the work, cleaving his supple cheeks in an unconvincing approximation of contentment. The giveaway isn’t merely that his lips don’t seem to lift properly at the corners but that his eyes dissent. You can learn to force a smile, but getting your eyes to play along is a trickier thing.
In newly disclosed testimony, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson said President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, operated independently with powerful leaders around the world without coordination with the State Department, leaving Tillerson out of the loop and in the dark on emerging U.S. policies and simmering geopolitical crises.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has said it will not be possible to solve the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a deal "along the lines of the Arab Peace Initiative".
A real estate company part-owned by Jared Kushner has received $90m in foreign funding from an opaque offshore vehicle since he entered the White House as a senior adviser to his father-in-law Donald Trump. Investment has flowed from overseas to the company, Cadre, while Kushner works as an international envoy for the US, according to corporate filings and interviews. The money came through a vehicle run by Goldman Sachs in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven that guarantees corporate secrecy.
Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s Middle East adviser and son-in-law, has expressed uncertainty over the ability of the Palestinians to govern themselves in a rare television interview broadcast on Sunday night.
Kushner Cos., the real estate firm owned by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, has received about $800 million in federally backed debt to buy apartments in Maryland and Virginia -- the company’s biggest purchase in a decade.
While America’s attention has been focused primarily on the Mueller report, over the course of the last several weeks, a story that likely isn’t clearly captured in the Mueller report has been building steam. For well over a year now, there has been speculation about Jared Kushner’s security clearance, as well as his meetings and ties with various leaders within the Middle East. Now it appears as if this speculation is becoming a full-blown scandal.
The chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed information on Thursday that he said showed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner used private messaging services for official White House business in a way that may have violated federal records laws.
President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns flagged by intelligence officials and the White House’s top lawyer, four people briefed on the matter said.
Psy-Group’s larger ambition was to break into the U.S. election market. During the 2016 Presidential race, the company pitched members of Donald Trump’s campaign team on its ability to influence the results. Psy-Group’s owner, Joel Zamel, even asked Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, to offer Zamel’s services to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.
Jared Kushner reportedly told President Donald Trump to stand by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — despite mounting evidence that the royal was involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi two weeks ago. Kushner’s reasoning? International outrage over other incidents, like Saudi Arabia’s bombing of innocent children in Yemen and kidnapping of Lebanon’s prime minister, decreased with time.
The disappearance of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi is opening a rift between Washington and Saudi Arabia as the kingdom blasted President Trump on Sunday for promising “severe punishment” if the royal court was responsible. If Saudi Arabia “receives any action, it will respond with greater action,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement, citing the oil-rich kingdom’s “influential and vital role in the global economy.”
Over the past decade, Jared Kushner’s family company has spent billions of dollars buying real estate. His personal stock investments have soared. His net worth has quintupled to almost $324 million. And yet, for several years running, Mr. Kushner — President Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser — appears to have paid almost no federal income taxes, according to confidential financial documents reviewed by The New York Times.
Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, has quietly been trying to do away with the U.N. relief agency that has provided food and essential services to millions of Palestinian refugees for decades, according to internal emails obtained by Foreign Policy.
Jared Kushner lacks security clearance level to review some of the nation’s most sensitive intelligence in White House role
Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser and President Trump’s son-in-law, lacks the security clearance level required to review some of the government’s most sensitive secrets. When White House security officials granted him a permanent clearance in late May, he was granted only “top secret” status — a level that does not allow him to see some of the country’s most closely guarded intelligence, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss security issues.
The ‘ultimate deal’ that Jared Kushner is proposing for Palestine would strip the people of all their dignity
“I believe,” quoth Crown Prince Kushner this week, “that Palestinian people are less invested in the politicians’ talking points than they are in seeing how a deal will give them and their future generations new opportunities, more and better paying jobs and prospects for a better life.” Is Trump’s son-in-law – “adviser” on the Middle East, real estate developer and US investor – delusional? After three Arab-Israeli wars, tens of thousands of Palestinian deaths and millions of refugees, does Jared Kushner really believe that the Palestinians will settle for cash?
The whole interview is worth reading in full to understand its striking lack of detail. Kushner makes no mention of Israeli settlements, the Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, or the 61 Palestinians in Gaza who Israeli forces killed that day for peacefully protesting. Kushner did not say anything about the right of return for Palestinian refugees or returning to the 1967 lines as borders for a future Palestinian state. He did not criticize Israel or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at all.
Even after they ascended to top White House positions, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner continued to benefit from an extraordinary number of investment deals carried out by the companies they once ran, ethics filings released Monday evening showed.
The purchase of three properties by President Trump's son-in-law on the banks of a toxic Brooklyn canal triggered a series of unusual real estate deals and a windfall profit from transactions financed by a bank tied to the Trump family. The property transactions totaling more than $150 million began in late 2014 and early 2015 and included sales prices well above the assessed value of the parcels, as well as high-risk loans that experts said raise red flags. At the center of each deal is either Jared Kushner or Michael Cohen, whose business dealings have attracted close scrutiny from prosecutors and regulators since Trump's election.
Two South Korean financial firms have bought $100 million of debt on a New Jersey residential building that’s part-owned by the family of Jared Kushner. Nonghyup Bank and trusts affiliated with IGIS Asset Management purchased junior pieces of a $200 million loan made by Citigroup Inc. on 65 Bay St., an apartment tower in Jersey City, Kroll Bond Rating Agency said in a research report Thursday.
A real estate startup partly-owned by presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner is seeking an investment of at least $100 million from a private fund backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Jared Kushner receives permanent security clearance, an indication he is no longer a focus of the special counsel
Current and former law enforcement officials said it would be very unusual for someone to get a full security clearance if there were an ongoing criminal investigation that had the potential to result in charges for that person. Mark Zaid, a lawyer who specializes in security clearance issues for government employees, said the decision — absent any new facts coming out — “is a very positive sign for Kushner that he is substantively in the clear with the special counsel’s office.”
The company controlled by the family of the White House adviser Jared Kushner is close to receiving a bailout of its financially troubled flagship building by a company with ties to the government of Qatar, according to executives briefed on the deal.
Upon entering the White House, Jared Kushner divested the property only in the most technical sense. He “sold” the assets to his brother and a trust controlled by his mother. A lawyer described the transaction to the New York Times as a “shell game.” Now, with Kushner ensconced as a senior adviser in the White House, someone has emerged to bail him and his family out of this mess. The identity of Kushner’s white knight is a mystery.
The elder Mr. Kushner, his company and his family are assailed by criminal and regulatory inquiries largely rooted in their newfound access to presidential power. The family’s East Coast-based real estate empire is under a fiscal and ethical cloud, shunned by some investors who fear being dragged into the spotlight trained on the Kushner nexus with President Trump. Two major Manhattan properties are on creditors’ watch lists, one after foreign investors backed out of a financing deal.
Affter the meeting between Kushner and Crown Prince, Crown Prince Mohammed told confidants that Kushner had discussed the names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince, according to three sources who have been in contact with members of the Saudi and Emirati royal families since the crackdown. Kushner, through his attorney’s spokesperson, denies having done so.
When the Kushner Companies bought three apartment buildings in Queens in 2015, most tenants were protected by rules that prevent developers from pushing them out, raising rents and turning a profit. But that was exactly what the company then run by Jared Kushner did, with remarkable speed. Two years later, it sold the buildings for $60m, nearly 50% more than it paid.
An AP investigation found Jared Kushner's firm repeatedly lied about the number of tenants in its building who were living under rent controlled housing. The Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with the city declaring it had zero rent-regulated tenants in dozens of buildings it owned across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds.
Israel is one of four countries to have reportedly discussed how to exploit the business interests, financial headaches and lack of diplomatic experience of Jared Kushner, according to the Washington Post on Tuesday. But what financial connections does the son-in-law of President Donald Trump have with the Jewish state?
Apollo, the private equity firm, and Citigroup made large loans last year to the family real estate business of Jared Kushner
Joshua Harris, a founder of Apollo Global Management, was advising Trump administration officials on infrastructure policy. During that period, he met on multiple occasions with Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, said three people familiar with the meetings. Among other things, the two men discussed a possible White House job for Mr. Harris. The job never materialized, but in November, Apollo lent $184 million to Mr. Kushner’s family real estate firm, Kushner Companies.
Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has been stripped of his high-level security clearance after months of delays in completing an exhaustive background check, limiting his ability to view highly classified information, a White House official and another person familiar with Mr. Kushner’s situation said.
Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is resisting giving up his access to highly classified information, prompting an internal struggle with John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, over who should be allowed to see some of the nation’s most sensitive secrets, according to White House officials and others briefed on the matter.
A German business magazine is reporting that Deutsche Bank, the German financial giant which is a major lender to both President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, identified “suspicious transactions” related to Kushner family accounts, and has reported them to German banking regulators. The bank is reportedly willing to provide the information to special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team of investigators.
Last May, Jared Kushner accompanied President Trump, his father-in-law, on the pair’s first diplomatic trip to Israel, part of Mr. Kushner’s White House assignment to achieve peace in the Middle East. Shortly before, his family real estate company received a roughly $30 million investment from Menora Mivtachim, an insurer that is one of Israel’s largest financial institutions, according to a Menora executive.
Thanks to Mueller’s ongoing investigation, we now know that prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration, members of his inner circle went to bat on behalf of Israel, and specifically on behalf of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, behind the scenes and in opposition to official U.S. foreign policy. That’s the kind of collusion with a foreign state that has gotten a lot of attention with respect to the Kremlin – but colluding with Israel seems to be of far less interest, strangely.
At a senior staff meeting early in President Trump’s tenure, Reince Priebus, then the White House chief of staff, posed a simple question to Jared Kushner: What would his newly created Office of American Innovation do? Mr. Kushner brushed him off, according to people privy to the exchange. Given that he and his top lieutenants were paid little or nothing, Mr. Kushner asked, “What do you care?” He emphasized his point with an expletive.
Mr. Hariri, until he announced his resignation on Saturday, had shown no signs of planning to do so. Hours later, on Saturday evening, a missile fired from Yemen came close to Riyadh before being shot down by Saudi Arabia. It then emerged that the week before, Jared Kushner, had visited Riyadh on a previously undisclosed trip and met until the early morning hours with the crown prince.
You can’t say ‘hit job’ in here.” I was six months into my tenure as the editor of the New York Observer, and I was schooling my publisher, Jared Kushner, on why ordering up a slam of someone who had crossed his family in business didn’t pass the journalistic smell test.
West Wing staffers were concerned that White House counsel Don McGahn would quit earlier this summer because of his frustration over meetings between President Donald Trump and his senior and adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Given their proximity to the Russia probe, McGahn was reportedly concerned that the frequency with which Trump and Kushner met could be seen as an attempt to coordinate their stories, three officials familiar with the matter told The Journal.
At least six senior Trump administration figures are reported to have used private email accounts for official White House business, prompting Hillary Clinton to describe criticism of her own private server use as “the height of hypocrisy”.Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, admitted through his lawyer on Sunday that he had used private emails in the administration’s early days.
Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, wakes up each morning to a growing problem that will not go away. His family’s real estate business, Kushner Cos., owes hundreds of millions of dollars on a 41-story office building on Fifth Avenue. It has failed to secure foreign investors, despite an extensive search, and its resources are more limited than generally understood. As a result, the company faces significant challenges.
On Tuesday, the 8th person was identified: Irakly Kaveladze. Kaveladze, a U.S. citizen who was born in the former soviet republic of Georgia, currently works for the Agalarovs as a vice president of their family company, Crocus International. But Kaveladze also has a checkered history. An October 2000 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) accuses Kaveladze of being involved in a massive effort, over nearly 10 years, to launder $1.4 billion of Russian and Easter European money through U.S. banks.
A few months ago, Rex Tillerson was the chief executive of the world’s largest oil company — which is to say, he was the authoritarian ruler of a private empire powerful enough to bend nation-states to its will. Now, he finds himself widely derided as the least influential secretary of State in modern memory — one who appears to be a subordinate of a 36-year-old trust-fund dilettante who bought his way into Harvard, and married himself into power. Jared Kushner has (reportedly) undermined Tillerson’s attempts to shape foreign policy, while the White House won’t let him staff his department with anyone but pro-Trump sycophants.
Not long before a major crisis ripped through the Middle East, pitting the United States and a bloc of Gulf countries against Qatar, Jared Kushner’s real estate company had unsuccessfully sought a critical half-billion dollar investment from one of the richest and most influential men in the tiny nation, according to three well-placed sources with knowledge of the near transaction. Qatar is facing an ongoing blockade led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and joined by Egypt and Bahrain, which President Trump has taken credit for sparking. Kushner, meanwhile, has reportedly played a key behind-the-scenes role in hardening the U.S. posture toward the embattled nation.
Jared Kushner began his effort to broker peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians by accepting Israel's vision of itself as an innocent victim. That’s because Kushner started his 15-hour trip to the Middle East on Wednesday by mourning with the family of an Israeli police officer, Hadas Malka. Malka’s killing, as part of a coordinated attack by three Palestinian assailants on officers at the Damascus Gate in the Old City, was described by Israeli officials as a terrorist attack. The use of that language clashes with U.S. law, which clearly defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, as part of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
Jared Kushner is now under congressional and F.B.I. scrutiny after his meeting with a close ally of Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Here’s how the Russian banker Sergey N. Gorkov could benefit from meeting President Trump’s senior adviser.
According to a letter sent to Elizabeth Warren and Tom Carper from the Office of Government Ethics, Ivanka Trump must now provide detailed financial disclosures and is barred from working with the Trump family business. “The ethics provisions and requirements...are generally applicable to Ms. Trump. For example, the primary criminal conflict of interest statute prohibits Ms. Trump from participating in particular matters affecting her financial interests, including the financial interests of Trump family businesses and other companies in which she has an ownership interest. That conflict of interest statute also covers her spouse’s financial interests, which are imputed to her.
Donald Trump lied to his Republican base and thought they were so stupid they would believe it, according to Jared Kushner. Mr Kushner, a property developer who is both President Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, reportedly made the remarks after he was challenged about Mr Trump’s prolonged interrogation over whether Barack Obama was born in the US.
New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker — a potential 2020 White House contender and recipient of major campaign contributions from Jared Kushner and others in the Kushner family — declined to endorse his party's call for the White House to revoke the security clearance of the president's son-in-law.
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has called for an investigation into “potentially fraudulent statements and misrepresentations” made by companies promoting investment in a property development involving the family company of White House advisor Jared Kushner.
John Kelly, National Security advisor claims the only thing Jared Kushner is interested in is helping America. Simply click on the "Jared Kishner" tag in this article to follow all the reports on Kushner and his family to see if you agree!
Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports. Sergey Kislyak’s account of the meeting was captured by U.S. intelligence.
Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has reportedly been identified as a “person of interest” in the ongoing investigation into possible ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign. The Washington Post said a senior adviser to Mr Trump was among people investigators wanted to speak to. A New York magazine reporter then said the person in question was Mr Kushner, 36, who is married to Mr Trump’s eldest daughter and who flew out of Washington on Friday night to accompany the President on his first official foreign trip.
The very latest reports out this morning have it that Jared Kushner was a major voice pushing to fire James Comey. And the President is “angry” over the backlash to his decision. A shadow of uncertainty must hang over every report like this. We’re hearing these details through interested parties, a yacht basin Lord of the Flies, with different faction leaders gouging each others’ eyes out as the executive branch descends into chaos.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are often viewed as a "moderating influence" on her father. But as their power in the White House grows and Donald Trump tightens his inner circle, this is looking more and more like a ruling dynasty. And this dynasty is no fairy tale.
At an event in Beijing on Saturday, Nicole Kushner, the sister of White House senior advisor Jared Kushner, made a hard sell to wealthy Chinese investors to pour funds into the family’s new real estate development in New Jersey, according to The Washington Post. “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States,” a brochure for the event reportedly declared.
President Trump’s son-in-law, a top adviser, had help building a real estate empire from a member of one of Israel’s wealthiest families.
President Trump’s son-in-law, a top adviser, had help building a real estate empire from a member of one of Israel’s wealthiest families the Raz Steinmetz. Raz's uncle, and the family’s most prominent figure, is the billionaire Beny Steinmetz, who is under scrutiny by law enforcement authorities in four countries. In the United States, federal prosecutors are investigating whether representatives of his firm bribed government officials in Guinea to secure a multibillion dollar mining concession. In Israel, Mr. Steinmetz was detained in December and questioned in a bribery and money laundering investigation. In Switzerland and Guinea, prosecutors have conducted similar inquiries.
John Oliver destroys assumption Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are moderating forces on Donald Trump
Oliver says Ms Trump’s political promises lack substance and she consistently fails to hold her father to account. The comedian argued the frequently voiced belief the President’s eldest daughter and his son-in-law, who are now both unpaid White House advisors, had a great deal of clout behind the scenes had little concrete basis.
How Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner May Have Influenced Trump's Sudden Reversal On US Policy Towards Syria. Taken at face value, the premise that the President bombed a sovereign nation because his daughter had an emotional reactions to photos of an unconfirmed tragedy seem patently absurd. However, the base assertion that Ivanka convinced her father to attack is likely true due to the strong connections she and her husband Jared Kushner share with a foreign government that has consistently supported regime change in Syria – Israel.
Stephen K. Bannon — the combative architect of the nationalistic strategy that delivered President Trump to the White House — now finds himself losing ground in an internecine battle within the West Wing that pits the “Bannonites” against a growing and powerful faction of centrist financiers led by the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
The escalating feud between the chief White House strategist and the president’s son-in-law reflects a larger struggle to guide the direction of the Trump presidency. Finally, Mr. Bannon identified why they could not compromise, according to someone with knowledge of the conversation. “Here’s the reason there’s no middle ground,” Mr. Bannon growled. “You’re a Democrat.”
How the New York Observer could predict the fate of the Office of American Innovation. I worked for Jared Kushner at the New York Observer for 18 months as he tried to infuse a much smaller institution than the U.S. government with cost-cutting impulses from the commercial real estate world. And my experience doesn’t bode well for the Office of American Innovation. Not everything that works in the private sector is transferrable to the public sector — and even if it were, Kushner isn’t the best person to transfer it.
Anbang was discussing buying stake in Fifth Avenue building in New York but critics had suggested China was seeking to curry favor with White House. The talks had drawn criticism from lawmakers and government ethics experts. They saw it as a potential attempt by China to curry favor with the White House. Kushner Companies bought the property in 2007 for a reported $1.8bn when Jared Kushner was running the business. It soon became apparent that Kushner had overpaid.
In the Washington of President Trump, Rex W. Tillerson has taken an understated approach that can be seen as brilliant, mystifying or a prescription for powerlessness. Mr. Tillerson has skipped every opportunity to define his views or give guidance to American diplomats abroad, limiting himself to terse, scripted statements, taking no questions from reporters and offering no public protest when the White House proposed cutting the State Department budget by 37 percent without first consulting him.
Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, has a long connection to Israel. When he meets with the country’s prime minister on Wednesday, it will be a gathering influenced by old encounters and shared experiences. Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian leader who was involved in peace talks both with Israelis and internally, said Palestinians were skeptical of Mr. Kushner, and Mr. Trump’s team generally, seeing them as close only to the Israeli side. As part of its philanthropy, Mr. Kushner’s family has made donations to the Beit El settlement, which Mr. Barghouti finds particularly worrisome.
Donald Trump’s intention to name his son-in-law Jared Kushner to a senior White House post violates ethical standards – and the smell test. There have been many governments through history with people like Kushner in power; they just haven't been democracies.
On the night of Nov. 16, a group of executives gathered in a private dining room of the restaurant La Chine at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Midtown Manhattan. At one end sat Wu Xiaohui, the chairman of the Waldorf’s owner, Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese financial behemoth with estimated assets of $285 billion and an ownership structure shrouded in mystery. Close by sat Jared Kushner, a major New York real estate investor whose father-in-law, Donald J. Trump, had just been elected president of the United States.
My book exposed a grubby secret of American higher education: that the rich buy their underachieving children’s way into elite universities with massive, tax-deductible donations. It reported that New Jersey real estate developer Charles Kushner had pledged $2.5m to Harvard University not long before his son Jared was admitted to the prestigious Ivy League school, which at the time accepted about one of every nine applicants. (Nowadays, it only takes one out of 20.) I also quoted administrators at Jared’s high school, who described him as a less-than-stellar student and expressed dismay at Harvard’s decision.