Rep. Capuano (D-MA) writes:
According to July 2017 news reports, Trump son-in-law and now government employee Jared Kushner tried and failed to get a $500 million loan from a Qatari businessman. The money was for a New York City building Kushner bought for $1.8 billion. Getting the money was contingent on Kushner securing additional funds for the multi-billion dollar project. That money was supposed to come from the Chinese investment firm Ambang, but the firm pulled out as conflict of interest concerns mounted. After Kushner was turned down, President Trump took a hard line against Qatar, branding it a terrorist state. It is true that we do not know if Trump lashed out at Qatar, contrary to the position taken by his own Secretary of State because of Kushner’s influence but the situation reveals a web of conflicts of interest. It’s a good illustration of why public officials, especially the President and his advisors, usually avoid even the appearance of a conflict and don’t put themselves in the position of being indebted to others because of their business interests. We may never know if U.S. policy towards a strategic player in the war on terrorism is based solely on the merits or is the result of a bad real estate deal.
Nepotism is bad in business and government.