Zeeshan Aleem · Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 2:49 pm
Earlier in March, reports revealed that a real estate company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser in the White House, was on the brink of signing a staggeringly lucrative deal with a Chinese company with murky ties to the Chinese government.
Now, just a week after Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to the White House expressing dismay over the array of conflicts of interest that the transaction posed, the deal has been called off.
As CNN reports, Kushner Companies says that it “mutually agreed” to end talks with Anbang, an insurance giant in China that’s been aggressively buying high-profile properties in the US for years. Kushner Companies made no mention of ethics concerns, and neither the White House nor Anbang have yet made comments on the collapse of the deal.
But it’s certainly plausible that the deal was called off because it could’ve ended up being politically costly for the Trump administration at a time when its policy agenda is faring poorly. There were a number of red flags surrounding the transaction that led government ethics experts to say the deal could have been a particularly flagrant instance of the Trump administration’s continued refusal to use safeguards to ensure that its members — including the president himself — do not exploit their power for private financial gain.