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FROM THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE

Jared Kushner’s brother visits White House after ‘observing’ women’s march

(JTA) – Joshua Kushner, the younger brother of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, posted on Instagram a photo of himself and his brother Jared at the White House taken the day after he was photographed at the Women’s March on Washington. Joshua Kushner posted the picture with his brother on Sunday in front of a portrait of John F. Kennedy as his photo on the National Mall amid a crowd of protesters went viral. “Josh was at the White House with his family today to watch his brother being sworn in,” a source close to Joshua Kushner told BuzzFeed News. “Yesterday, he took a quick walk near his hotel, and someone took a picture of him.” The photo of Kushner was first posted on the website of the monthly Washingtonian magazine as part of a post showing “Scenes from the Women’s March on Washington.” According to the post, Kushner told fellow marchers who recognized him as the brother of recently named White House adviser Jared Kushner that he was just “observing” the march. Jared Kushner was sworn in along with several other White House advisers on Sunday.

Joshua Kushner, 31, a venture capitalist, reportedly is a lifelong Democrat. His businesses could be affected by positions taken by the Trump administration, according to reports, including investment in a company that sells health insurance to individuals under the Affordable Care Act launched by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.

 

Trump: If Jared Kushner can’t broker Middle East peace, nobody can

(JTA) – President Donald Trump said that if his son-in-law Jared Kushner cannot produce peace in the Middle East, then “nobody can.” Trump referenced Kushner, an Orthodox Jew who married Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, after her Orthodox conversion to Judaism, during a VIP reception and candlelight dinner Thursday night, Jan. 19 at Union Station in Washington, D.C., ahead of Trump’s inauguration Friday. “All my life I’ve been hearing that’s the toughest deal in the world to make. And I’ve seen it. But I have a feeling Jared’s going to do a great job,” Trump said. Addressing his son-in-law, he also said: “If you can’t produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can.”

Trump has named his son-in-law a senior White House adviser. Kushner, a wealthy businessman and real estate developer, served as a top confidante to Trump during the campaign. “I sort of stole her husband,” Trump quipped about his daughter and Kushner.

 

Trump Treasury pick blames ‘complicated’ forms for failure to report $100M

(JTA) – Steve Mnuchin, President Donald Trump’s choice for Treasury secretary, said he failed to disclose over $100 million in assets unintendedly due to complicated government forms. Mnuchin, a former executive for Goldman Sachs and Trump’s campaign finance chief, told lawmakers Thursday, Jan. 19 during a Senate confirmation committee hearing that the omission, reported that day by The New York Times, “was unintentional.” “I assure you that these forms were very complicated,” he said. The undisclosed assets included homes in Los Angeles and the Hamptons, in addition to real estate holdings in Mexico. Mnuchin, who is Jewish, also omitted his role as head of Dune Capital International, a firm that is incorporated in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands. He said during the hearing that he did not use the firm to evade paying taxes.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., the new minority leader in the Senate, called Mnuchin typical of Trump’s nominees. “Never before has the Senate considered such an ethically challenged [group],” Schumer said. “Mr. Mnuchin’s failure to disclose his Cayman Islands holdings just reeks of the swamp that the president-elect promised to drain on the campaign trail.”

The Finance Committee’s chair, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, heaped praise on Mnuchin, lauding his extensive private sector experience as a boon to the government. “You’ve made tremendous sacrifices to take this job, and I hope our colleagues at the other side of the aisle will come to appreciate that,” Hatch said. “You’ve certainly impressed a lot of people here. Certainly me.”

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