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Politics Jared Kushner’s family, Trump building tenants received coronavirus business aid: SBA

02:05  07 july  2020
02:05  07 july  2020 Source:   nydailynews.com

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The Trump administration funneled millions of dollars in coronavirus aid to companies with potential conflicts of interests, including some owned by Jared Kushner’s family and others housed in buildings operated by the president’s real estate company, according to records made public Monday.

Tim Scott, Donald Trump, Mike Lee sitting at a table in a suit and tie: White House senior adviser Jared Kushner talks with President Donald Trump during a signing ceremony for criminal justice reform legislation in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) © Evan Vucci White House senior adviser Jared Kushner talks with President Donald Trump during a signing ceremony for criminal justice reform legislation in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The records, which were released by the Small Business Administration, cover all loans greater than $150,000 awarded under the so-called Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). As part of coronavirus stimulus measures, the PPP has issued more than half a billion dollars in loans that are forgivable as long as recipients use most of the funds to maintain payroll or cover rent and other expenses.

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Plenty of companies with ties to President Trump and his family were eager to reap the PPP benefits, the new records show.

Observer Holdings, LLC, the parent company of Kushner’s former publishing company, Observer Media, received $350,000 in PPP cash, according to the records.

Kushner no longer owns the company, but his sister’s husband, Joseph Meyer, counts it as part of his investment firm, Observer Capital, according to public records.

Princeton Forrestal LLC and Esplanade Livingston LLC, a couple of holding companies owned partially by Jared Kushner’s father, mother, brother and sister, pocketed between $1.35 million and $3 million in PPP funds collectively, the records showed. The exact amount the Kushner-connected LLCs received isn’t available as the Small Business Administration records only provide ranges for amounts larger than $1 million.

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The Trump administration released details of almost 4.9 million loans to businesses – from sole proprietors to restaurant and hotel chains – under the federal government’ s largest coronavirus relief program so far, the 9 billion Paycheck Protection Program.

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The Trump Organization, the president’s namesake real estate empire, saw 22 tenants at its 40 Wall Street building in downtown Manhattan receive PPP loans totaling at least $16.6 million, according to the records.

At least two companies renting space at the Trump International Hotel on Central Park West and the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C, got between $2.1 million and $5.3 million collectively, the records show.

Jordan Libowitz, the communications director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said the PPP payments present a potential conflict of interests, since some of that aid could’ve ended up being paid as rent into the coffers of the Trump Organization, which the president still owns and profits from.

“It’s part of this ongoing issue of potential conflicts of interest from the president continuing to hold stake in his company,” Libowitz told the Daily News.

The PPP disclosures came after weeks of pressure from Democrats for the Trump administration to provide more transparency into how it distributes the trillions of dollars in coronavirus aid approved by Congress.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who chairs the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, called the peek into the PPP protocols “a first step.”

“The administration has disclosed the names of only 14% of PPP borrowers and has announced plans to audit just 0.6% of borrowers,” Clyburn said in a statement. “The Select Subcommittee is working to ensure more oversight and more transparency for this critical program.”

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