Everything We Know About the Insane Amount of Debt Held By Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump
Most people associate the Trump family with wealth and power. However, some family members are shouldering heavy financial obligations. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are reportedly facing a significant amount of debt. Find this hard to believe? Their financial disclosures were released, and the situation isn’t pretty.
Here’s everything we know about the insane amount of debt held by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, including why some people think their credit cards are suspicious (page 8).
1. Jared Kushner keeps revising his financial disclosure forms
It seems that Kushner isn’t satisfied with released just one disclosure form and sticking to it. According to Newsweek, he incorrectly reported information about two real estate loans. Consequently, this means he has updated his federal disclosure form at least 40 times.
Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), told Newsweek that it’s “mind-boggling how someone can have that many errors and that many amendments and keep their job.”
Next: Big trouble.
2. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are facing a lawsuit over their disclosures
All is not well when it comes to Trump and Kushner’s finances. In 2017, they were faced with a lawsuit. They were sued by attorney Jeffrey Lovitky. He claims the couple did not disclose investments in two law firms, reports The Jerusalem Post. According to Lovitky, their failure to disclose certain investments violated guidelines established by the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA).
Next: Surprise, surprise.
3. A big surprise
No one was expecting this. Much to everyone’s surprise, Kushner took out some pretty hefty loans. Is he in some financial trouble? A revised financial disclosure form published by Politico revealed Jared Kushner withdrew millions of dollars from three separate credit lines a few months after he joined the White House. According to The New York Times, the family real estate business of Jared Kushner received large loans from Citigroup and private equity firm Apollo.
4. The couple’s mounting debt
A revised financial disclosure form published by Politico revealed Jared Kushner withdrew millions of dollars from three separate credit lines a few months after he joined the White House. The revisions revealed each of the credit lines were increased to a range of $5 million to $25 million. This is up from the previously reported range of $1 million to $5 million. Consequently, the debts rose to a range of roughly $31 million to $155 million. And this is up from the previous range of roughly $19 million to $98 million.
Next: The shocking amount on their Visa cards
5. Their Visa cards are about to explode
The disclosure forms revealed heavy credit card use — and that’s an understatement. The reported credit card balances are outrageous. Although Ivanka and Jared have a lot of debt, there is a silver lining to all of this. Some of their crushing credit card debt has gone down. The disclosure forms Ivanka Trump filed showed the balance owed to a Visa account decreased. The amount owed fell to a range of $50,001 to $100,000. This is down from the previously reported amount of $100,001 to $250,000.
Next: When did all of the debt take place?
6. When did all of this happen?
Politico says the rise in debt occurred between March 2017 (this is when Kushner first filed his disclosure form) and June 2017 (when Ivanka Trump first submitted her form). Kushner and his father, Charles, hold the Bank of America and New York Community Bank credit lines. The Signature Bank loan is owned by Kushner and his mother, Seryl.
Next: The surprising reason why their debt matters
7. Why does any of this matter?
Some think Jared and Ivanka’s debt could lead them to make some shady and possibly illegal deals inside the White House. In her opinion piece, Washington Post contributor Jennifer Rubin said the couple’s debt does matter. Rubin says:
Kushner’s financial problems make [his contact with Russian officials] all the more troubling. As he was racking up debt, Fordham Law School professor Jed Shugerman tells me, Kushner “also just coincidentally was setting up secret lines to the Kremlin and was meeting with [Russian President Vladmir] Putin’s banker a month after the election. And he just coincidentally was meeting with Russians offering dirt in Trump Tower during the election.”
He explains, “Kushner’s massive debts are an important piece of the entire Russia conspiracy on some of the parties’ motives (Kushner, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Trump) for such inexplicable behavior and such risk-taking.”
Next: Is there something fishy going on with their credit cards?
8. Some think the credit card debt is suspicious
Columnist Patricia Hunt wants to know how two wealthy people could have such a high amount of credit card debt. She’s also curious as to why they have credit cards instead of charge cards. She argues that most ultra-wealthy people have charge cards because they can afford to pay off the balance each month. How are wealthy people — especially members of the Trump family — not able to pay down the balance on a credit card? What are we missing here? Hunt says:
First, people like Jared and Ivanka cannot go out with their rich friends and lay down a Visa card at the end of an evening of fine dining. This is the equivalent of wearing plastic shoes and a dress from Walmart. You have to put down your American Express Gold or Platinum card. You cannot carry a balance on those cards. You have to pay them off every month. And you pay an annual fee to get one. In exchange, you have a lot of perks like air miles, so you can fly for less. They are not called credit cards because there is no credit. They are called charge cards. They are status items that are more or less required in the circles in which they travel.
Next: This is how they might have gotten into debt.
9. How did this happen?
One question Politico did not have the answer to is whether the rise in the three lines of credit owed by Kushner is connected with the Kushner Company’s reported financial struggles. The corporation hit a few rough patches. One of its troubles involved trying to secure financing for a few projects. Several of the company’s financial troubles originated from the 2007 purchase of a Manhattan office building at 666 Fifth Ave. for $1.8 billion.
Next: The drama continues.
10. More trouble
The financial troubles continue. In February 2012, Vornado Realty Trust reportedly had plans to sell its stake in Kushner Companies’ office building at 666 Fifth Ave. (It had a 49.5% stake.) An annual performance report Vornado filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed these plans, reports The Real Deal, a New York real estate publication. Vornado removed the building from its New York assets on its SEC filings.
Next: The grass isn’t always greener.
11. Just like us?
In her column, Hunt points out that despite appearances, Jared and Ivanka are not high rollers. We’re not rejoicing over Jared and Ivanka’s financial difficulty, but their disclosures demonstrate how misleading appearances can be. This situation also puts a spotlight on the importance of proper credit management, no matter how much money you earn.
NerdWallet reports the average American household carrying credit card debt has a balance of $15,654. Although Ivanka and Jared are far from the average American, their credit card debt is still astounding. This is what Hunt had to say:
Why on earth would she have a credit card balance that high? A person with good credit could go to a bank, get a loan using their real estate as collateral, pay off the credit card, and then pay off the bank loan at lower rate of interest. I am sure I must be missing something here, but the Visa card balance looks very, very strange. If it is any consolation, a lot of us can go to bed tonight with reasonable confidence that we are in better financial shape than Jared and Ivanka.
Next: The surprising reason for their relationship is not very romantic.
12. Their marriage is a business deal
Both Ivanka and Jared refer to their relationship as a business deal. It’s a punchline for the pair when they go out with the friends who introduced them. “They very innocently set us up thinking that our only interest in one another would be transactional,” Ivanka told Vogue. “Whenever we see them we’re like, ‘The best deal we ever made!’”
Next: Ivanka’s the CEO of their home.
13. They hold business roles at home
In an interview with Vogue, Jared discussed his home life with Ivanka. “I would say she is definitely the CEO of our household, whereas I’m more on the board of directors,” Jared said. Jared choosing to compare he and Ivanka’s roles in business terms is unusual for other married couples but not Ivanka and Jared. As the two are workaholics, this comparison makes sense.
Next: Their wedding invitation promoted a Trump golf course.
14. Allegedly, their wedding invite included a promotion
Supposedly a Trump golf course promotion went out in the mail to Ivanka and Jared’s wedding guests along with the invitation. Page Six described the invitation as having “a flier inside for Donald’s other golf properties.” “An insert offered guests a free round of golf at one of Mr. Trump’s courses,” The New York Times said. Ivanka denied the claims, saying “My wedding was a private, perfect occasion, the memories from which I will treasure for a lifetime.”
Next: Ivanka and Jared look at real estate on dates.
15. Date nights involve work
Jared and Ivanka’s date nights usually involve work. “My husband’s idea of a date night somehow always involves me looking at a development site,” Ivanka told Vogue. Ivanka gives an example. “[…] I find myself standing on the roof of the Whole Foods in Gowanus in the pouring rain. At midnight. And he’s showing me this giant site he just bought. I’m like, ‘Huh. So this is why you chose that restaurant.’”
Additional reporting by Mandi Kerr.
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