Jared Kushner’s May 2021 trip to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar cost taxpayers an additional $7,456.83 on top of the already reported $9,000 in lodging at the Ritz Carlton in Abu Dhabi, according to Secret Service records obtained by CREW. The new tally includes flights, covid tests and border crossing fees for Secret Service agents. The New York Times recently reported that wealth funds in both countries each invested around $200 million in Kushner’s private equity firm, which he launched “as he left the White House.”
Kushner’s trip to Abu Dhabi, UAE from May 9-11 and Doha, Qatar from May 11-12 came a few months after his father-in-law, Donald Trump, left the presidency in 2021. Ordinarily, a former president’s adult children and their spouses would not qualify for Secret Service protection, but Trump granted a six month extension of protection for his family, which cost taxpayers $1.7 million, according to the Washington Post.
Kushner’s portfolio during his time at the White House–a role he got thanks to nepotism–was wide ranging, including being tasked with brokering peace in the Middle East. He was also instrumental in building a tighter relationship with Saudi Arabia. Kushner developed a friendship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, defending him in the White House even in the wake of the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the Crown Prince allegedly orchestrated.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund, controlled by MBS, also invested $2 billion with Kushner’s firm. Kushner scored that investment just six months after the end of the Trump administration, around the time of this trip to the Middle East. Between the massive Saudi investment and the investments from the UAE and Qatar, the vast majority of investments in Kushner’s fund come from the Middle East.
Jared Kushner’s post-administration trip to two of the countries that he dealt with during his time at the White House–whose wealth funds then gave him millions in investments–illustrates how Trump and those in his inner circle used their official positions for private profit.