Citigroup and Apollo defend Kushner family loans

- April 13, 2018

Jared Kushner’s family business ties to Citigroup and Apollo Global Management are more extensive than initially reported, Democratic lawmakers said on Friday.

Kushner Companies is more than $600 million in debt to Citi and owes Apollo more than $250 million, the lawmakers said, releasing letters from the two companies. The loans were originated around the time Kushner was named a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, his father-in-law.

In letters to the companies on Friday, lawmakers asked for more detail on the companies’ financial ties to Kushner. The letters were signed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

In March 20 letters to the lawmakers, Citi and Apollo pushed back on the narrative that Kushner’s family business had received financing after Kushner met at the White House with top executives from the companies, a story first reported by The New York Times.

Kushner sat down with Citi’s chief executive, Michael Corbat, on March 3, 2017, at Corbat’s request. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss trade policy, “given Mr. Kushner’s leadership role in the NAFTA negotiations,” Citi wrote in a letter to lawmakers.

“The Kushner family has been a client of Citi for decades,” and a March 31, 2017, loan to the family was “completely appropriate,” Citi’s general counsel, Rohan Weerasinghe, wrote.

Kushner also met several times last year with Apollo co-founder Joshua Harris just months before Kushner Companies closed on a $184 million loan with Apollo.

“Josh Harris and Jared Kushner never discussed any loans to Kushner Companies,” a lawyer for Apollo wrote in the March 20 letter. “To our knowledge Jared Kushner did not play any role on behalf of Kushner Companies” with respect to the loan.


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