White House adviser Jared Kushner used to dabble in journalistic malpractice at the newspaper he owned, forcing the slashing of stories that were unflattering to his friends, according to a Monday Buzzfeed News report.
In 2012, at the offices of the New York Observer, Kushner reportedly used to direct Austin Smith, a software employee who consulted with the paper, to scrub certain stories from the website.
Per Buzzfeed, the erased articles include a 2010 settlement between former New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and a real estate firm concerning rent manipulation to force out tenants, a “10 worst landlords list” piece that included Kushner’s friend and a story detailing the price of an apartment his friend seemed to want out of the press.
Elizabeth Spiers, former editor at the Observer, told Buzzfeed that she was unaware of Kushner’s behavior. “If I had known about it, Jared and I would have had a big problem,” she said. “Jared’s such a coward. Went directly to Austin because he knew I wouldn’t do it.”
This would not be the only time Kushner reportedly used the paper to achieve his own ends, as a Vanity Fair report paints a situation when Kushner allegedly ordered a “hit piece” on a real estate executive with whom Kushner had gotten into an argument.