Trump son-in-law family apologizes for China name drop


Jared Kushner's sister highlighted her family's Holocaust survivor past and connection to the son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald Trump during a real estate sales pitch to Chinese investors.

Meyer was looking for investors under the U.S. EB-5 visa program, which gives wealthy foreign investors permanent American residency if they invest at least a half million dollars in a U.S. business that creates 10 jobs.

Ms Meyer mentioned her brother on Saturday and Sunday while urging investors to put $500,000 (£386,500) into a New Jersey real estate project in exchange for investor visas and residency cards in the U.S. through the so-called EB-5 programme.

Mr Kushner's sister, Nicole Kushner Meyer, was in Beijing on Saturday seeking US$150 million (S$210 million) in investment in a luxury apartment-complex project in New Jersey, according to USA media reports. Investors were told to act now, as the visa progam could change.

Nichole Kushner Meyer told more than 100 people at a Beijing hotel Saturday "that the $976 million project - twin 66-story towers with almost 1,500 apartments - 'means a lot to me and my entire family, '" reports Ken Bredemeier for Voice of America.

However, eyebrows have been raised as the Chinese investment sought by his family firm will be funnelled through the US EB-5 visa programme. At a similar, publicly advertised event in Shanghai on Sunday, journalists were simply barred from entering the function room at the Four Seasons Hotel, being told: "Sorry, this is a private event". "As previously stated, he will recuse from particular matters concerning the EB-5 visa program", Roberts said.

During her seven-minute speech in Shanghai, Nicole did not mention Jared Kushner or Trump but instead talked about her family's history since her grandparents went to the United States as refugees in the 1940s, the report said.

And the pitch came with a sweetener: Meyer talked about the Kushner family, including her brother who holds a powerful position in the White House as senior adviser to President Trump. Emily Rauhala is a reporter for The Washington Post who was there in the ballroom. A Kushner Companies spokesperson said the statement was to make clear that Kushner was not involved in the company, rather than as a ploy to raise money.

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During the event in Beijing, Kushner's sister promoted a program offering a path to USA citizenship to Chinese backers.

Jared Kushner has stepped away from the business since taking a key role in Trump's White House.

QWOS representatives courting potential investors pointedly dropped the name of Trump's daughter Ivanka, who is Jared Kushner's wife.

Chinese citizens have snapped up more than 80 percent of the visas issued under the program since 2011, according to Invest in the US, an industry association, and there's a huge backlog of applications.

Created in 1990 as a way to encourage investment during a recession, the program requires foreigners to invest $1 million in a business that sustainably employs 10 people anywhere or $500,000 in rural areas or those with high unemployment.

Kushner divested from the New Jersey protect and the Kushner Companies, the website said.

The proposed EB-5 investment would account for around 15 percent of the total investment of $976 million required for the project.