Jared Kushner’s position as President Donald Trump’s senior adviser was being used to promote his family’s company, despite a fiasco and subsequent apology issued by the company for the same offence in May, CNN reported on Thursday.
In online promotions meant to attract Chinese investors, two businesses working with Kushner Companies were found to have publicized Kushner’s ties to the company.
The promotions appeared to be posted on WeChat webpages, a popular Chinese social media platform, in an effort to lure investors seeking US visas.
The advertisements were associated with the US EB-5 visa program, which allows 10,000 immigrant visas each year in an effort to promote investment from foreign countries into less-developed regions or create jobs in the US.
The Chinese promotional material, made by a Florida-based company called “US Immigration Fund,” characterised Kushner as the “celebrity of the family,” and a “30-something ‘Mr. Perfect,'” according to CNN’s translation.
US Immigration Fund said in a statement, “The post in question was originally posted by a 3rd party immigration consultancy firm on its company WeChat and was reposted to USIF’s WeChat by the company’s Chinese social media consultant. The post is several months old and hasn’t had any interaction by followers, however, it has since been removed from the company WeChat.”
Another WeChat page from the Chinese company “Qiaowai” directly referenced the EB-5 program and Kusher by noting: “Even some members of Trump’s family have participated in the growth of the EB-5 program … The lead developer on the now-completed project was Kushner Companies which is linked to Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.”
“Kushner Companies was not aware of these sites and has nothing to do with them,” said a Kushner Companies spokesperson to CNN. “The company will be sending a cease and desist letter regarding the references to Jared Kushner.”
Richard Painter, a former chief ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush outlined why the promotional material in relation to government officials was considered harmful.
“What is not authorised is any arrangement where someone gets preference for their visa if they give money to a company that is controlled by the family of a United States government official,” said Painter. “And unfortunately, that implication was made in the selling efforts for this project.”
The latest material had similar overtones to a promotional event in Beijing, where Nicole Meyer, Kushner’s sister, advertised the company’s development project in New Jersey with mentions of her familial ties and an image of Trump.
“In 2008, my brother Jared Kushner joined the family company as CEO, and recently moved to Washington to join the administration,” Meyer said during her speech.
After the alleged name-drop, Kushner Companies said Meyer’s comments were not meant to lure investors.
“Ms. Meyer wanted to make clear that her brother had stepped away from the company in January and has nothing to do with this project,” Kushner Companies said in a statement.
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