Fox News anchor Bret Baier recently asked Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman regarding a $2 billion investment the country’s sovereign wealth fund made in Ivanka Trump’s husband’s Jared Kushner’s firm via Media Ite.
It has been noted that Kushner, who served as a White House adviser to his father-in-law Donald Trump, was deeply involved in the administration’s Middle East policy discussions and negotiations.
Six months after departing the White House, Kushner’s Affinity Partners received the hefty sum over the objections of fund managers for Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund when bin Salman intervened to overrule them.
Baier asked the crown prince about the investment during a rare interview that aired on Wednesday’s Special Report. Here is the exchange:
“BAIER: You had a really close relationship with the president, senior adviser and son in law Jared Kushner. After he left, Saudi fund made reportedly a $2 billion investment in Jared’s new fund he was launching and managing.
Do you think that sends the wrong message even if there wasn’t a tit for tat? A, “I’ll give you this and you get that.”
BIN SALMAN: We look to opportunities and investment. We have investment, a lot of investment around the globe, a lot of peoples and economical opportunity.
BAIER: So, if Trump becomes president again, you’ll leave the $2 billion with Jared Kushner?
BIN SALMAN: It’s a, it’s a commitment that the [Public Investment Fund] have and when PIF have commitment with any investor around the globe to keep it.
BAIER: Would it affect your decisions with a new Trump administration, with that sitting there?
BIN SALMAN: Well, Saudi Arabia is so big. So, I’m quite sure most any person around the world, directly or indirectly, you have something to do with Saudi Arabia. So, is that gonna affect President Trump’s decision if he becomes president, that mean[s] that gonna affect every president in the world and every person in the world decision, because that is going directly to have some sort of interest in something to do with Saudi Arabia.”
During his tenure at the White House, Jared Kushner successfully sold an unprofitable property located at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Kushner and his father had initially attempted to secure funding from the Qatari government in April 2017, but the negotiations fell through.
The next month, Kushner met with officials in Saudi Arabia. Less than a month later, the Saudis imposed a blockade on Qatar, which Kushner supported despite the anti-blockade position of Trump’s own State Department.
Kushner traveled to Saudi Arabia to meet with the crown prince in October 2017. The following month, the Kushners received a $184 million loan from a Qatari-backed asset firm called Apollo Global Management.
In August 2018, the Kushners reached a deal to lease 666 Fifth Avenue for 99 years to Brookfield Asset Management for $1.1 billion, which was paid up front. The Qatar Investment Authority was Brookfield’s second largest investor. To help finance the deal, Brookfield secured a loan of more than $300 million from Apollo Global Management.
Saudi Arabia ultimately ended its blockade in January 2021, two weeks before the end of the Trump administration.