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Democrats demand Jared Kushner's dismissal

Lawmakers say Jared Kushner's business ties and foreign contacts compromise national security and demand his dismissal.

Jared Kushner

A group of House Democrats called on White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to dismiss President Donald Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner.

The 25 lawmakers, led by Representative Don Beyer, sent a letter to Kelly expressing their disillusionment with the president's son-in-law, citing media reports alleging a number of countries have discussed ways to manipulate the 37-year old.

"It is impossible for the American people or their elected representatives to have faith that Jared Kushner will put their interests above his own personal and financial interests," the letter said.

"The only path forward is clear: Jared Kushner must resign immediately. If he will not, we believe it is your duty as White House chief of staff to fire him." 

The letter's signatories said Kushner's failure to "faithfully and honestly" report his meetings with foreign contacts raises serious national security concerns.

The legislators highlighted an incident where Kushner is said to have discussed ways to create a secret backchannel to hold talks with the Russian government.

Trump has repeatedly stated his support for Kushner, who is married to his daughter Ivanka, also his adviser. Kelly has yet to respond to the letter. 

Domestic concerns

Citing a New York Times report, the letter asserts that Kushner's record at home is equally concerning.

The Kushner family business was allegedly granted generous loans from Citigroup and Apollo Global Management - amounting to $184m in the case of the latter - after he promised one of Apollo's founders a position in the administration.

The group said it appreciated Kelly's recent downgrading of Kushner's security clearance amid speculation that his family's business debt could be used to buy influence in the Trump White House.

"The possible leverage created by his debts, his failure to give accurate and punctual accounts of his foreign contacts, and business holdings ... raise inescapable warning signs about the most junior staff, to say nothing of one of the closest people to the president," the letter said. 

Kushner has not publicly addressed the issues raised.


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