Tricky Government Contracts and the Kushner Empire – Ethicists Welcome News…

bayfront

 

https://therealdeal.com/2017/05/10/kushner-companies-scraps-planned-orthodox-jewish-community-in-jersey-city/

Kushner Companies scraps planned Orthodox Jewish community in Jersey City

Had it been granted the $150M bid, the company could have built 8,100 homes at formerly contaminated Bayfront site

UPDATED, May 10, 12:30 p.m.: Kushner Companies was the leading bidder on an industrial site called Bayfront in Jersey City that would become home to a planned Jewish community geared toward members of Orthodox sects who are being priced out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

But when Bloomberg reporters asked company spokesperson James Yolles about the bid on Tuesday, Yolles said that the company already dropped any intentions it had to buy the site from Honeywell and Jersey City for $150 million. An unnamed Kushner employee also told the news site that these plans were dropped late last year, but the office of Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said it was unaware of this and has yet to receive any word of Kushner’s withdrawal from consideration.

It’s unclear if the Kushners decided to abandon the project for ethics reasons, but Honeywell, a Fortune 100 list conglomerate, has billions in government contracts that could prove tricky in any dealmaking tied to the Kushners. The development would likely also require federal subsidies to improve the infrastructure within and surrounding the site. “It’s a good sign that they are pulling out,” Larry Noble, general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, told Bloomberg. “Though the question is whether or not it’s just because of the publicity or because they actually see there is a potential conflict of interest in these situations.”

In a statement to The Real Deal, Yolles said “a decision was made late last year not to pursue the project because the company was not persuaded by the economics of the deal.”

Last weekend, the company made front page news when White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s sister Nicole promoted a Jersey City project at One Journal Square to Chinese investors. The sales pitch made mention of Kushner Companies’ ties to the White House and Nicole told the audience the project was “important” to her entire family. It was later reported that the project in question is going through a rough spot, losing an anchor tenant in WeWork and at risk of losing a key 30-year tax abatement.  [Bloomberg]  — Will Parker

 

To read the article in TheRealDeal click here.

 

See Also:

National Real Estate Investor: http://www.nreionline.com/investment/kushners-abandon-property-bid-pressures-mount-over-conflicts

Le Pen, Diamonds, Lev Leviev, Berel Lazar, New York

diamonds-938490_960_720

 

https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/le-pens-trump-tower-italian-fundraiser-tied-to-lega-nord-russia-are-diamonds-le-pens-best-friend/

Le Pen’s Trump Tower Italian Fundraiser Tied to Lega Nord-Russia; Are Diamonds Le Pen’s Best Friend?

 

Will France get an anti-American president, Marine Le Pen, who doesn’t even know that New York City is located there? Does she think that Trump Tower is in Montreal? “Vive le Quebec Libre! Vive le Canada Français et vive la France!” said De Gaulle on July 24, 1967 in Montreal: http://youtu.be/rGm6imM-7AI

And are diamonds Le Pen’s best friend, as once sang by another bleached blond? In “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds“-“Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friends“, Marilyn Monroe sang that the French may be willing to die for love, but that she prefers diamonds. Link: http://youtu.be/g__ANxxwKIk And, love won’t pay for Marine Le Pen’s campaign, it seems. The French connection would’t do. She needed an Italian connection in Trump Tower.

Enter her Italian “fixer”, George “Guido” Lombardi, apparently Giorgio Guido Lombardi, who migrated from Italy to the US in the 1970s. Lombardi states in an interview at the beginning of the BBC Panorama documentary “Marine Le Pen: Who’s Funding France’s Far Right” ( http://youtu.be/0ClNpJYuqdE ) that there were people at the cocktail-fundraiser, which he held for Marine Le Pen in Trump Tower, who could have contributed a million dollars “without blinking an eye“. Was one of them the “King of Diamonds?

According to the New York Post, long-time friend of Putin “Israeli diamond dealer Lev Leviev was the mysterious businessman hustled through the shut-down Lincoln Tunnel on behalf of a [New York Mayor] Bill de Blasio fundraiser.http://nypost.com/2016/06/21/bribed-cops-shut-down-lincoln-tunnel-lane-for-king-of-diamonds Did he help Marine Le Pen too?

According to the New York Times, “The political operative she [Marine Le Pen] went to meet at Trump Tower, George G. Lombardi, is a businessman who has made a career as a liaison between two right-wing Italian political parties — the Northern League and Forza Italia — and like-minded people in the United States. He has also worked with the National Front since 2012…” Pictures of Lombardi with former Senate majority leader Bob Dole, and former NY Republican Senator Alfonse D’Amato, as well as a younger Trump, are found on one of his web sites, they say: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/world/europe/marine-le-pen-trump.html. Recall: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/russian-oligarch-deripaska-tied-to-manafort-also-has-past-links-to-bob-dole/

In a more recent interview with the New York Times, Lombardi says that he was born in Geneva and moved to Rome, as a child, and that it was the 1968 protests, and popularity of communism at his university, that made him leave for America. He says that he started out in the jewelry business, then turned to real estate. He married the apparently older widow of real estate magnate Frank Lahainer, who already lived in Trump Tower, and was originally from Trieste, Italy, as was Frank Lahainer. Trieste faces Venice, on the Adriatic. See: “A Trump Tower Neighbor Is the Point Man for Europe’s Populists“. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/world/europe/trump-tower-neighbor-europe-populists-orban-wilders-le-pen.html (Did the New York Times confuse Geneva with Genoa (Genova), or was he born in Switzerland?)

Although it was apparently bought by Frank Lahainer, the 25 carat diamond, mentioned in the 2002 Washington Post article, called up a memory about the sell-off of huge diamonds by Russia in the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lev Leviev is believed to have helped liquidate these assets. Lev Leviev is also reportedly behind Putin’s Milan born Rabbi Berel Lazar (Lombardi’s dual compatriot: American-Italian)

Isn’t it bizarre that Putin’s official Rabbi Lazar was born in Milan, in Lombardy Italy, and ordained Rabbi in New York City? Lazar is a member of the Chabad Ludavitch sect, who have their own book, which is not used by mainstream Judaism. Lazar is reported as having both American and Russian citizenship and his wife as having American citizenship. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berel_Lazar They presumably have Israeli citizenship too. And, while Lazar has recently been quoted as saying that, if Le Pen wins, France’s Jews will have to leave France, we don’t know if he is playing at Briar Rabbit, nor if he thinks that a bad thing. (See JTA .org: “Russian chief rabbi says Jews should leave France if Marine Le Pen elected“, April 22, 2017) Lazar may want to bring the Jewish diaspora to Israel for the arrival of the Messiah. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chabad_messianism#Anticipation Another Putin friend-Russian Oligarch-Chabad supporter, Roman Abramovich, is currently building a new house in Israel. And, building lots of housing for the diaspora would be big business for real estate magnates. This could include Trump’s sons and son-in-law.

Continue reading

Jason Greenblatt and Berel Lazar – More Fake News?

Trump Team’s Links to Russia Crisscross in Washington

 

WASHINGTON — During the 2016 campaign, Donald J. Trump’s second campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, had regular communications with his longtime associate — a former Russian military translator in Kiev who has been investigated in Ukraine on suspicion of being a Russian intelligence agent.

At the Republican National Convention in July, J. D. Gordon, a former Pentagon official on Mr. Trump’s national security team, met with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, at a time when Mr. Gordon was helping keep hawkish language on Russia’s conflict with Ukraine out of the party’s platform.

And Jason Greenblatt, a former Trump Organization lawyer and now a special representative for international negotiations at the White House, met last summer with Rabbi Berel Lazar, the chief rabbi of Russia and an ally of Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin.

In a Washington atmosphere supercharged by the finding of the intelligence agencies that Mr. Putin tried to steer the election to Mr. Trump, as well as continuing F.B.I. and congressional investigations, a growing list of Russian contacts with Mr. Trump’s associates is getting intense and skeptical scrutiny.

Democrats see suspicious connections and inaccurate denials as part of a pattern that belies Mr. Trump’s adamant insistence that he and his associates “have nothing to do with Russia.” The president’s supporters say innocuous encounters, routine for any incoming presidential team, are being treated for political reasons as somehow subversive.

Mr. Trump denounced the furor over Russian connections on Thursday as a “total witch hunt” — but it may not have helped his case that the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, echoed his words on Friday, saying, “This all looks like a witch hunt.”

On Friday, Mr. Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a meeting between Mr. Putin and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, and wrote that “we should start an immediate investigation into @SenSchumer and his ties to Russia and Putin.”

The issue has already had momentous consequences for the new administration. Michael T. Flynn lasted less than a month as national security adviser before being forced out for mischaracterizing his conversations with Mr. Kislyak. This week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions admitted to having meetings with Mr. Kislyak that he had not disclosed during his confirmation hearing.

Mr. Sessions fended off demands that he resign but agreed to recuse himself from what may be the most important investigation his Justice Department is conducting: of Russian meddling in the election and whether any of Mr. Trump’s associates colluded in those efforts. And that did not end the issue; all nine Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee called on Friday for Mr. Sessions to testify about his inaccurate denials that he had met with Russian officials during the campaign.

Part of the problem underlying disputes over such contacts may be Mr. Trump’s pugnacious style, which usually leaves little room for nuance. At a news conference last month, he said that he had “nothing to do with Russia,” and that “to the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.”

In fact, vigorous reporting by multiple news media organizations is turning up multiple contacts between Trump associates and Russians who serve in or are close to Mr. Putin’s government. There have been courtesy calls, policy discussions and business contacts, though nothing has emerged publicly indicating anything more sinister. A dossier of allegations on Trump-Russia contacts, compiled by a former British intelligence agent for Mr. Trump’s political opponents, includes unproven claims that his aides collaborated in Russia’s hacking of Democratic targets.

To read the remainder of the article click, here.

Jason Greeblatt and International Negotiator?

http://forward.com/fast-forward/358243/jason-greenblatt-trump-organization-lawyer-named-point-man-for-mideast-peac

Jason Greenblatt, Trump Organization Lawyer, Named Point Man for Mideast Peace

Longtime Trump Organization legal advisor Jason Dov Greenblatt was named special representative for international negotiations to President-elect Donald Trump, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Greenblatt, an Orthodox Jew, has been at the Trump Organization for 20 years.

He will spearhead Trump policy on Israeli-Palestinian issues, trade and Cuba, CNN reported](http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/23/politics/trump-appoints-his-business-attorney-to-manage-international-crises/)

Like many other Trump appointees, Greenblatt’s foreign affairs credentials are slim. He was an adjunct professor of management at Yeshiva University from January 2015 until May 2016. He studied law at New York University and got his BA in English from Yeshiva University. He has self-published three travel books, including one about a family trip to Israel.

In April Greenblatt told the JTA he stays informed about Israel via email alerts, American Israel Public Affairs Committee materials and a weekly radio program featuring Malcolm Hoenlein, the CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

He added that his last contact with Palestinians was when he served as a guard at a West Bank settlement yeshiva in the 1980s.

He suggested at the time that the U.S. could create safe havens for Syrian civilians fleeing civil war by “borrowing land” in neighboring Turkey and Jordan.

Trump names longtime attorney to be international negotiator

President-elect Donald Trump has named his longtime attorney Jason Greenblatt, who also has advised him on Israel, to the position of “special representative for international negotiations.”

It was not immediately clear whether Greenblatt’s position would be based at the White House or within a Cabinet agency and what exactly would be his mandate. It was also unclear whether it will dovetail or clash with the office of the U.S. Trade Representative or the work done by other U.S. negotiators on a range of issues.

The decision to appoint Greenblatt was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Friday. In a statement confirming the appointment Tuesday, Trump said Greenblatt would be “assisting on international negotiations of all types, and trade deals around the world.”

Greenblatt is the chief legal officer and an executive vice president at the Trump Organization, and he has spent two decades at Trump’s side, advising him on a range of business and legal affairs, both domestic and international.

“Jason is one of my closest and most trusted advisers,” Trump said. “He has a history of negotiating substantial, complex transactions on my behalf, as well as the expertise to bring parties together and build consensus on difficult and sensitive topics.”

To read the remainder of the article click, here.