CNN’s Jake Tapper quipped that the “writers” of President Donald Trump’s “season” are “really getting lazy” for failing to realize that his own son-in-law and White House senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has played a key role in the decrepit conditions Trump has lambasted in Baltimore.
“President Trump slammed the city of Baltimore as a ‘rat and rodent infested mess,’ and perhaps forgot that it’s also the place where his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s family owns thousands of apartments,” Tapper said Monday on "The Lead." The properties have had “hundreds of code violations — including for rat and rodent infestation.”
After Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) criticized inhumane conditions for migrants detained at the southern border, Trump lashed out at him and his Baltimore district in a series of vicious tweets beginning Saturday, calling the area a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
In a CNN interview aired on "The Lead," Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski called it “particularly ironic that the president’s making these comments when we know here in Baltimore County in 2017 that his son-in-law directly contributed to some of the neglect that the president purportedly is so concerned about today.”
Trump’s son-in-law, who continues to own the properties even as he works in the White House, was the target of a scathing investigation two years ago in ProPublica that was co-published in The New York Times, headlined “The Beleaguered Tenants of Kushnerville.” According to a court case concerning one of his rentals, the bedroom ceiling leaked, the living room carpet contained maggots and the kitchen sink spewed raw sewage. It’s exactly the kind of apartment in which “no human being” would “want to live,” to quote Trump’s comment about Cummings’ district, which includes much of Baltimore.
Residents have argued in ongoing lawsuits that rents in the Kushner buildings were padded with mysterious added fees or late fees as part of a ruse to evict them when the money wasn’t paid. Kushner Cos. opted to switch a suit last year to state court after a federal judge ordered the company to reveal the identity of secret company investors.
Many of the rents on Kushner’s apartments are subsidized by federal funds. Because Kushner retained his interest in the complexes, the White House told The Baltimore Sun that he would recuse himself from any policy decisions about the Section 8 housing subsidies.
Kushner Cos. has issued a statement saying the firm is “proud to own thousands of apartments in the Baltimore area,” calling them a “high quality residential experience.”
Watch Tapper and reporter Randi Kaye go after Trump and Kushner in the video up top.
Tapper quips in the clip below about the “lazy” writers of Trump’s “season” for bungling Kushner’s troubling link to Trump’s Baltimore complaints.