President Trump’s influential son-in-law, Jared Kushner allegedly tried abortively to obtain a $500m loan from Qatari businessman Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani (HBJ), before advising the Whitehouse to pursue a hard line on the intra-gulf rift, reports The Independent.
In 2015 Kusher apparently approached Al-Thani to help prop up an under performing real estate investment at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York. HBJ agreed to a $500m investment according to The Intercept. Yet this deal fell through when a Chinese co-investor, Anbang, pulled out.
While this could be seen as part-and-parcel of normal real estate business, the alleged episode has taken on a different light in the context of Qatar’s isolation by its Gulf neighbours.
According to a source quoted in The American Conservative the US president’s unusually hardline against Qatar, an ally, was fuelled primarily by Kushner, apparently at the behest of a personal friend, Yousef Al Otaiba the UAE’s ambassador to the US.
But as The Independent notes, “even if the source’s account of the proceedings is true, it still leaves open the question of why Mr Kushner wanted to convince the President to speak out against Qatar.”