In January, it was revealed that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner would be moving into a nearly 7,000-square-foot home in the Kalorama neighbourhood of Washington, DC.
It turns out their landlord is Chilean billionaire Andrónico Luksic, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal.
Luksic, who bought the home for $US5.5 million through a shell company in December, is currently feuding with the US government through another company he owns, Antofagasta PLC, and its subsidiary, Twin Metals Minnesota LLC.
The company’s wish to build a mine in Minnesota was blocked by Obama-era federal regulators because of environmental concerns. The mine, which would have brought up copper and nickle ore from one of the largest reserves of such metals in the world, would have been adjacent to a protected wilderness area.
In September, Twin Metals sued the federal government in a Minnesota federal court to renew the company’s leases on the copper and nickle reserves in the area, which are estimated to be worth $US40 billion, according to a court filing. The company argued on the basis that it has had long-standing mineral rights stretching back to 1966. However, the company’s request was denied in December.
Twin Metals has asked the Trump administration to reverse the court’s decision, a spokesperson told the WSJ, and it has spent $US160,000 lobbying the federal government.
Spokespeople for both the White House and Luksic said that Trump and Kushner are paying fair market rent. The couple was searching for a home to rent last 2016, and looked at this mansion in particular. A broker put the deal together with the new owner, Luksic.
According to the Journal, the shell company that owns that mansion does not have the proper local permits to rent out the house, though a lawyer for the company said that it plans to file the paperwork soon.
Kalorama is the same neighbourhood where the Obama family has been living since the former president left office. The relatively small area is popular with politicians and DC insiders for its seclusion and privacy.
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