Real estate mogul and newspaper owner Jared Kushner, 35, is already prominent on his own merits, but he’s a guy who also doesn’t mind operating behind the scenes.
Kushner quietly facilitated closed-door talks with Republican senators last month for his father-in-law, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
He has also been advising Trump on other matters as well, including issues regarding Israel, according to Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks, quoted by Reuters on the matter.
Both Kusher and his wife Ivanka are Orthodox Jews. His family has strong ties with Israel, and his father, also prominent in the real estate industry, donated $20 million two years ago to a medical school campus in Jerusalem. The campus is now named after Kushner’s parents.
Kushner himself is listed in the 2015 AIPAC report as a benefactor on its real estate committee. This means he donated at least $36,000 to the lobbying group.
Ken Kurson, who worked as a speech writer for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and who now works as the editor of Kushner’s New York Observer, told Reuters that he reviewed Trump’s speech before he delivered it at the recent AIPAC convention.
Technically, Kushner has no official role in the campaign, according to Hicks. But he has urged Trump to try and bring his behavior into line with a more traditional approach as he nears the date for GOP national convention.
Sources close to Trump say the younger man has advised his 69-year-old father-in-law to build bonds with traditionally active donors and the politicians he will need when he enters that stretch for the nomination.
He also tries to put out fires by lunching with Rupert Murdoch and working to calm him after Trump insults his Fox News Channel’s star anchor, Megyn Kelly, for instance. Kushner and wife Ivanka have vacationed with Murdoch and his ex-wife Wendi Deng; they’re good friends.
But in general, Kushner does what he can to maintain a low profile on the campaign trail – one can see he’s not comfortable with the idea of being a big political personality. He was dragged on to the stage by The Donald in South Carolina after the rest of the family was already out there.
It’s clear that Jared Kushner is a pivotal personality in the Trump campaign, officially or not. If Trump makes it to the White House, what might that mean for a new president who must appoint a chief of staff, yet avoid the charge of nepotism?