The potentially lucrative interest follows very favorable treatment of the kingdom by Donald Trump’s White House.
Kushner’s appeal to the Saudis and other Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds is raising “questions about ethics” as Kushner seeks money from the same officials he dealt with as a representative of the U.S. government as recently as January, the Times noted.
The issue becomes even more troubling if Kushner’s father-in-law runs in 2024 and even wins the White House again.
Sources told the Times that the real estate developer hopes to raise an amount in the “low billions” by early next year for his new investment fund, Affinity Partners.
He hasn’t had much success so far raising money in the Middle East — except with the Saudis, sources told the Times.
Kushner refused to discuss details about his new company with the Times.
The Trump White House had a particularly close relationship with the Saudi leadership, and Kushner cultivated a friendship with de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Kushner arranged for Trump to make his first trip abroad to a summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. That same year Kushner helped negotiate a hugely controversial agreement for Saudi Arabia to buy billions of dollars worth of American weapons while the nation was bombing civilians in Yemen.
Later, when Kushner was asked to intercede with Trump to get him to back off pushing then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the presidential election results, Kushner said he had no interest or time because he was working on “Middle East peace,” reported ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.
In other favorable treatment of the Saudi royal family, Trump took no action concerning the murder of Saudi Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
Trump suggested “rogue killers” could have been involved in Khashoggi’s death, and never condemned the crown prince — despite a conclusion by American intelligence that he was responsible for the murder.
“I saved his ass,” Trump said of the crown prince last year in an interview with Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward for his book “Rage.” “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone.”
Bin Salman “will always say that he didn’t do it,” Trump told Woodward. “He says that to everybody, and frankly I’m happy that he says that.”
Kushner remained a loyal champion of his wealthy friend amid condemnation by the international community over Khashoggi’s murder.
Trump’s former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has also cashed in on Middle East ties, and has profited from investments from the Saudis, United Arab Emirates and the Qataris, sources told the Times.
Check out the full Times article here.