Jared Kushner was involved in initial talks to sell the New York Observer to fierce opponents of Donald Trump, including Hillary Clinton ally David Brock and Univision chairman Haim Saban, in the days between Trump’s election and inauguration as president, according to Buzzfeed News.
In the days after Donald Trump was elected President, Kushner and Joseph Meyer, chairman of Observer Media, were rumored to have courted American Media, owner of the National Enquirer, as a buyer for the Observer. However, according to Buzzfeed, Observer Media moved on to consider Brock and Saban as buyers.
Kushner was involved in initial discussions between Observer Media and Brock and Saban, but “largely recused himself” after that, according to Buzzfeed, which cited a source “familiar with the matter,” but was not averse to selling to them. The Observer’s then editor-in-chief Ken Kurson confirmed a phone conversation between himself, Meyer, and Saban during that winter and an in-person meeting between himself and Brock during which the acquisition was discussed.
Kurson told Buzzfeed, “I was hoping a deal would happen, because for me personally, once Jared went to Washington, the fun of editing the Observer was diminished.”
Brock is the founder of leftwing Media Matters, which has served as a malicious critic of Trump. In late 2016 it was revealed that Brock was seeking funding to launch a “Breitbart of the left.” According to Politico, just a month before the Observer talks he was marshaling major donors of the left – including George Soros, Tom Steyer, and Donald Sussman – for an inauguration weekend retreat in Palm Beach to talk about “how to kick Donald Trump’s ass.”
Kushner bought the Observer in 2006. According to one of Buzzfeed’s sources, he was hoping to sell the paper, just ten years later, for $20 million, twice the price he bought it for. The deal ultimately fell through. The Hill reported that Kushner ended up transferring his ownership in the company to a trust over which Meyer, his brother-in-law, was given control.
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