Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald Trump, unsuccessfully sought a financing deal from a wealthy Qatari investor to save his family’s troubled midtown Manhattan building, according to a Monday report from The Intercept.
Kushner tried to negotiate with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, a billionaire and former prime minister of Qatar known as HBJ, for half a billion dollars to help refinance Kushner Companies’ flailing investment in the building at 666 Fifth Avenue, The Intercept reported, citing “three well-placed sources with knowledge of the near transaction.” Kushner and his father, Charles, were in negotiations with HBJ throughout 2015 and 2016, according to the report.
The Kushners’ office building at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan is in significant financial trouble, as the tower does not bring in enough revenue to pay off the family’s debts. The family has sought several deals to refinance the property, with a major deal with Chinese insurance giant Anbang falling through in March. Federal investigators are also looking into whether Kushner sought Russian financing for the building when he met with the CEO of a Russian state-owned bank in December.
Recently, Trump sided with four Gulf states who broke off ties with Qatar, a longtime ally of the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson believed that United Arab Emirates ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, a friend of Kushner’s, was behind Trump’s statement opposing Qatar, according to a report from The American Conservative.
The White House referred The Intercept’s questions to Kushner Companies. Kushner Companies and HBJ both declined to comment to The Intercept.