President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, received more than half a billion dollars in loans from companies whose leaders attended private White House meetings with him last year, the New York Times reported late Wednesday.
Apollo Global Management lent the Kushner Cos. $184 million in November, months after Kushner met with Apollo founder Joshua Harris and discussed a possible job in the White House for him, three people familiar with the meetings told The Times.
Kushner’s company also received a $325 million loan from Citigroup Inc. C, -1.17% last spring, after Kushner met with Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat at the White House, the Times reported.
The meetings raise significant ethics questions. Earlier in the day, the Wall Street Journal reported New York’s state banking regulator has been looking into ties between Kushner and at least two banks, and on Tuesday his security clearance was downgraded by White House chief of staff John Kelly.
More for The Times:
There is little precedent for a top White House official meeting with executives of companies as they contemplate sizable loans to his business, say government ethics experts.
“This is exactly why senior government officials, for as long back as I have any experience, don’t maintain any active outside business interests,” said Don Fox, the former acting director of the Office of Government Ethics during the Obama administration and, before that, a lawyer for the Air Force and Navy during Republican and Democratic administrations. “The appearance of conflicts of interest is simply too great.”