This report from the Washington Post has to be fake news, because there is no way that any entity connected to the administration of President Donald J. Trump would attempt to draw Chinese immigrants into the US for their own personal financial benefit, given the president’s strong views on immigration and China. Right? Right?! Excerpts:
BEIJING — The Kushner family came to the United States as refugees, worked hard and made it big — and if you invest in Kushner properties, so can you.
That was the message delivered Saturday by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s sister Nicole Kushner Meyer to a ballroom full of wealthy Chinese investors in Beijing.
Over several hours of slide shows and presentations, representatives from the Kushner family business urged Chinese citizens gathered at a Ritz-Carlton hotel to consider investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a New Jersey luxury apartment complex that would help them secure what’s known as an investor visa.
The potential investors were advised to invest sooner rather than later in case visa rules change under the Trump administration. “Invest early, and you will invest under the old rules,” one speaker said.
The tagline on a brochure for the event: “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”
And the highlight of the afternoon was Meyer, a principal for the company, who was introduced in promotional materials as Jared’s sister.
The event underscores the extent to which Kushner’s private business interests have the potential to collide with his powerful role as a top official in his father-in-law’s White House, particularly when it comes to China, where Kushner has become a crucial diplomatic channel between Beijing and the new administration.
While Kushner has reported divesting from elements of the family business, including the specific project that his sister pitched in Beijing, the session Saturday demonstrated that the company is perceived as enjoying close ties to the Trump administration. Ethics laws prohibit government officials from profiting personally from their public-sector work.
Watchdogs and ethics experts on Saturday criticized the Beijing event as an attempt to cash in on Kushner’s newfound proximity to power.
“It’s incredibly stupid and highly inappropriate,” said Richard Painter, the former chief White House ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush’s administration, who has become a vocal critic of the Trump administration. “They clearly imply that the Kushners are going to make sure you get your visa. . . . They’re [Chinese applicants] not going to take a chance. Of course they’re going to want to invest.”
Read the whole thing. This thing wouldn’t pass the smell test even down here in the Banana Republic of Louisiana. Just to get this straight: to the Trump administration, immigration is bad, unless the immigrants come bearing fortunes that stand to benefit to Kushner clan. Some bunch of nationalists this lot is!
What a racket, this administration. It does appear from this that the family is so greedy that it doesn’t care that its godfather, Donald Trump, sold himself to the American people as someone who opposes liberal immigration policies and who thinks China is sticking it to the American people on trade matters. And you know what? Why should he care, if Americans who voted for him are content with, “But … but … but Gorsuch!”?
I was threatened, harassed and forced to delete recordings and photos of The Kushner family recruiting Chinese investors in US Green cards. https://t.co/8IG5LzjbaU
— Congcong Zhang (@daphnewelkin5) May 6, 2017
— Javier C. Hernández (@HernandezJavier) May 6, 2017
UPDATE: It’s on to Shanghai for the shameless Kushners, reports the NYTimes:
Mr. Kushner has said that he has stepped back from the day-to-day operations of the family business. But government ethics filings show that he and Ivanka Trump, his wife and the president’s daughter, continue to benefit from Kushner Companies’ real estate and investment businesses, a stake worth as much as $600 million, and probably much more.
The Shanghai event, at the opulent Four Seasons Hotel, was patrolled by burly security guards who screened those in attendance and kept journalists outside, in an elevator lobby. The organizers had refused on Saturday to allow late registration as word spread of the Beijing event. One guard at the Shanghai event was heard saying that at least some of the participants would be leaving through a private back exit.
But some who attended described an investor pitch similar to the one in Beijing, and Mr. Trump’s political power was palpable at the Shanghai event even if his name went unsaid. As on Saturday in Beijing, one slide presented to the Shanghai audience on Sunday showed a photograph of Mr. Trump when describing who will decide the future of the visa program for foreign investors, according to a snapshot taken by an audience member.
The Kushner Companies’ marketing push comes as Mr. Kushner is emerging as a crucial voice on China relations, brokering meetings between his father-in-law and top Chinese government officials.
While the Trump connection piqued the interest of many people in attendance, such events soliciting investors for projects in the United States are not unusual in China. The so-called EB-5 visa program awards foreign investors the right to live in the United States for two years and a path to permanent residency, in exchange for investments of at least $500,000 in American development projects. A bright red line near the top of the posters in the Four Seasons lobby prominently mentioned EB-5 visas.
About three-quarters of the roughly 10,000 investor visas issued last year went to Chinese nationals.
Although the program was created as a way to finance projects in economically troubled neighborhoods, it has instead turned into a form of cheap financing for luxury real estate developers. Applicants are primarily seeking the visa, so they do not seek a significant return on their investment.