Kushner's family sorry for naming him to investors

Ms Nicole Kushner Meyer (third from left), the sister of US White House adviser Jared Kushner, at a promotional event in Shanghai on Sunday. She mentioned her brother's name during a pitch to Chinese investors in Beijing on Saturday, raising concerns
Ms Nicole Kushner Meyer (third from left), the sister of US White House adviser Jared Kushner, at a promotional event in Shanghai on Sunday. She mentioned her brother's name during a pitch to Chinese investors in Beijing on Saturday, raising concerns over potential conflicts of interest.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • The family of White House adviser and United States President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Mr Jared Kushner, has apologised for mentioning his name while urging wealthy Chinese investors to sink millions into a New Jersey real estate project.

His sister, Ms Nicole Kushner Meyer, was in China last weekend, seeking more than US$150 million (S$212 million) in investment in a luxury apartment complex known as "One Journal Square", on which ground is scheduled to break early next year.

She urged wealthy Chinese to buy stakes through the EB-5 visa programme that offers US residency in exchange for at least US$500,000 of investment in a US business that must also create at least 10 American jobs.

The pitch raised concern over potential conflicts of interest and set off a media firestorm in the US.

"In the course of discussing this project and the firm's history with potential investors, Ms Meyer wanted to make clear that her brother had stepped away from the company in January and has nothing to do with the project," the firm said on Monday.

"Kushner Companies apologises if that mention of her brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors.

"That was not Ms Meyer's intention."

The New York Times reported that in Beijing last Saturday Ms Meyer told investors that the project "means a lot to me and my entire family", and mentioned her brother's former role as chief executive of Kushner Companies.

Representatives of Chinese government-approved immigration agency QWOS, which hosted the investment drive, pointedly dropped the name of Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka, who is Mr Kushner's wife and very popular in China.

Mr Kushner, 36, stepped down from the family business in January to join the Trump administration, where he has far-reaching influence over domestic and foreign policy.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2017, with the headline 'Kushner's family sorry for naming him to investors'. Print Edition | Subscribe