Former Trump White House senior advisor Jared Kushner is a sign of the corruption of the post-presidency, according to Huffington Post political reporter Paul Blumenthal.
“Jared Kushner, ex-President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and former White House adviser, isn’t the first one to get a big payout after leaving his position as a senior adviser in the White House. Nor is he the first family member of a president or ex-president to use his position to get money. But the $2 billion stake invested by the Saudis in Kushner’s new private equity firm dwarfs all previous post-presidential money grabs in both size and scope,” Blumenthal writes in a Friday column.
He noted Kushner was an ally of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he was in the White House.
“As with so many things done by Trump and his family, Kushner’s $2 billion Saudi payout highlights a preexisting malady in American life by taking it to its extreme. In this case, that malady is the commercialization of the post-presidency that has taken hold over the past 40 years,” Blumenthal wrote. “The ‘commercialized former presidency,’ as the writer Thomas DeFrank called it, began in the late 1970s, at the dawn of the neoliberal age, when Gerald Ford took positions on corporate boards and hit the paid speaker circuit following his brief stint as an unelected President of the United States.”
Blumenthal noted that the presidents who cashed in after leaving office were all barred from running for the White House again.
“Were Trump to return to the White House, the payments to his son-in-law by a foreign government with major interests in influencing U.S. foreign policy would far exceed any conflict of interest concerns created by the sale of Hunter Biden’s paintings,” he wrote. “But Kushner’s big payday is still in the same category of problems raised by the commercialization of the post-presidency. All of these payouts and corporate deals create the appearance of corruption, as powerful corporations, the global rich and fossil fuel-rich autocracies slop money on the former leaders of the U.S. during an era in which corporations grow larger, the rich get richer and burning fossil fuels brings the world to the brink.”
Read the full analysis.