tv Headliners MSNBC October 7, 2018 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
he would have wanted. his name is forever tied to donald trump. >> no matter what happens, michael cohen is going to be part of american history because of his association with the 45th president of the united states. >> and his words and deeds, past, present or future could still change the course of an american presidency. and jared is a great young man, went to harvard. >> he's the quiet power behind the brash president. >> got right in front of trump and said this is what we're going to do and we're going to win this thing. >> but jared kushner has drawn criticism of his own. >> it's raised a whole host of questions about his business deals, and his ties with russia. >> i had no improper contact. >> when you have a family member
you appoint and who's expect today serve you, there's a divided loyalty. >> kushner learned early about family loyalty especially n crisis. >> he's suddenly the ceo of a gigantic sprawling company with his father in a high profile disaster. >> the young businessman made his mark in manhattan. first with a newspaper. >> jared kushner, publisher of new york observer. >> then a risky real estate deal. and when his high profile marriage led to an unexpected opening in the family business -- >> i am officially running for president of the united states. >> -- he seized it. >> i think the president sees kushner as a more nimble political operator than he does his own sons. >> this was a lifetime opportunity that anyone would kill for. anyone would leap at that chance.
>> there's zero chaos. this is fine tuned machine. >> from their first days in the white house the trump administration has endured one battle after another. >> the white house runs as a function of his personality. aides are up and down, in and out, his constant drama and intrigue. >> but one advisor has so far survived. >> the president definitely listens to jared and soaks it in. he saw that jared continued to make smart decisions and i think through the merits of ivanka he saw ultimate loyalty. >> staff is expendable. jared kushner is not. >> kushner has stayed in the west wing despite a cloud of controversy. controversy over his business
holdings and potential conflicts of interest. >> mueller's special prosecutor asking if kushner business ties influenced white house policy. >> his troubles in credentials. >> jared kushner, president trump's son-in-law and senior advisor has been stripped of his high level security clearance. >> his interactions with russian officials. >> jared kushner tried to sep up a back channel to communicate with the russians in december. that's before the iinauguration. >> through it all jared kushner husband steadfastedly remained a key player. >> he's managed several portfolios within the white house right now. and to be able to maneuver through those and to make difficult decisions, he's an extremely effective leader. >> despite being one of the most influential people in the country, kushner is virtually invisible. >> jared has been very, very strategic. he's never been a public persona. he doesn't speak publicly. very few people have even heard
his voice. ivanka loves the prez, she loves her social media profile. jared has none. >> the glamorous first daughter who is comfortable in the spotlight and the boyish son-in-law, quietly trying to make his mark on history. >> i think the most influential role that jared and ivanka have played throughout the campaign and now in the white house is sort of personnel decisions. >> they've vangsuished a lot of people who were the most dedicated to getting them out. >> both jared and ivanka had been advisers to the president ins since he was a candidate. and the list of those they've clashed includes cory lieu lewandowski, steve bannon, reince priebus, and rex tillerson from the previous administration. all of them gone. from the beginning kushner was determined to position himself closest to president trump. >> jared did say early on he was
first among equals on the staff, that every big decision was going to come through him. he was asserting i think his privacy as the main advisor to the president. he was going to be the main person at his side. >> the idea at a 36 real estate developer who had never worked ipgovernment would hold such an important role was sharply criticized. and then the president handed him a full plate of assignments, stunning washington. >> he was assigned to find a piece of the middle east, to handle relations with china, with mexico. he put on a flack vest over his blue blazer and went to iraq. >> he setup the office of american innovation. he was going to solve the veterans affair crisis, do an infrastructure plan. it became a joke that there was no problem in america that jared kushner was not going to fix. >> many in the white house weren't laughing. in the early months of the administration some senior aides struggled with kushner, and they
weren't just fighting for power. it was also about different ideologies between jared kushner's and steve bannon's camp. >> kushner thought that bannon's populism he was pushing on the president was dangerous. and bannon thought that kushner was basely a new york democrat. in fact he referred to kushner and ivanka trump as the democrats. >> there was a real battle over the soul of what this white house was going to stand for. >> that battle became more urgent after the violent protests in charlottesville in aug2017. >> when donald trump defended the neo-nazis. >> very fine people on both sides. >> i think jared and ivanka felt that steve bannon was a toxic influence both on donald trump but also on the country. >> bannon meanwhile blamed kushner for supporting the president's decision to fire fbi
director james comey. it was a controversial choice, but kushner's attorney confirms he supported it. >> he wasn't the one who drafted it or conceived of the concept. but it did come about, he definitely supported it. >> the firing led to the appointment of robert mueller as special counsel in part to investigate whether trump and his aides including jared kushner had tried to obstruct justice. >> how instrumental he was in that decision was something investigators were interested in looking at. but that is the gold standard example of how jared has terrible political judgment. >> bannon used the comey decision as part of a campaign of negative stories about kushner. according to interviews he gave in 2017. >> ultimately that was one of the things that was bannon's downfall. because you could criticize other aides, you could criticize other advisers of the president, but you couldn't consider family. >> steve bannon is out tonight as president trump's chief
strategist. >> many in the white house believe jared and ivanka had fed stories to the media as well. >> they're wildly suspected of leaking damaging information about rivals in the white house. people around them worry about whether they are doing well in the eyes of jared kushner, for instance, and if they're not, what that might mean for them. >> bannon was not the only one. >> after months of speculation white house chief of staff reince priebus is out. >> jared and ivanka felt reince priebus was not serving donald trump well as chief of staff, that the west wing was chaotic. >> but replacing priebus backfired for kushner. >> one of his primary goals was to instill structure and discipline on the west wing, and that meant that jared kushner and ivanka lost their walk in privileges to the oval office. >> kushner spends less time at the president's side these days. >> increasingly jared kushner found his role shrinking in the white house. now, what he would tell people
is that that was a good thing. that in the early days he was involved in everything because he had to be there playing defense in a way against what he thought were bad ideas from the likes of steve bannon. >> narrowing his focus has allowed kushner to focus on projects of particular interest to him like middle east peace and prison reform. but some say the west wing battles have hardened jared kushner. >> i think he's learned there's always a shark or knife behind each corner, that the swamp is a swamp for a reason. >> it's politics. that's the sport of it, and people will either agree or disagree with what you said or didn't say. but that's not what's real. what's real at the end of the day what you've accomplished, the lives you've impacted and that's what we focus on. >> kushner has tried to control his narratives, speaking little in public himself and using surrogates himself. that helps his own image, but
it's also in service of his father-in-law. >> jared would do anything that he was asked to do or felt he needed to do to keep donald trump president for four more years. >> coming up -- >> jared wasn't forgetting who had hurt him, and that's chris christie. d hurt him, and that'ss christie here we go. discover.
i like your card, but i'm absolutely not paying an annual fee. discover has no annual fees. really? yeah. we just don't believe in them. oh nice. you would not believe how long i've been rehearsing that. no annual fee on any card. only from discover. everything was so fresh in the beginning. but that plug...quickly faded. luckily, there's new febreze plug. it cleans away odors and freshens for 1200 hours. [sniffs] ahhhh! breathe happy with new febreze plug. is the fact that it's very, very tough on bacteria, yet it's very gentle on the denture itself. polident consists of 4 powerful ingredients that work together to deep clean your denture in hard to reach places. mike and jen doyle? yeah. time for medicare, huh. i have no idea how we're going to get through this. follow me. choosing a plan can be super-complicated. but it doesn't have to be. unitedhealthcare can guide you through the confusion,
even before his father-in-law's inauguration, jared kushner was heavily involved in managing who would work with the new president. one of his first orders of business just 72 hours after the election was removing chris christie as head of trump's transition team. >> jared kushner swooped in and moved to have him pushed aside and fired, and many people saw that as his answer and revenge for all the dealings he had with chris christie. >> charlie kushner had a bitter history with chris christie that
jared wasn't willing to put aside. >> chris christie was the federal prosecutor who sent jared's father, charles to jail. >> jared wasn't forgetting who had hurt him, and that's chris christie. >> charlie kushner was a larger than life figure in new jersey when jared was a child. he ran a real estate empire, mostly what are known as garden apartments. >> he took over the business from his parents and built it from a small construction company with a few apartments with a profitable bu,en business. >> and almost overnight he's the garden apartment king. >> in business charlie was known for being tough. >> he speaks softly most of the time, and i think he comes off as a pretty nice guy, but he has a reputation for a volcanic temper. >> there are people all over new jersey who have been on the receiving end of having crossed him. >> but at home in livingston charlie was a very different presence. he and his wife had four
children. >> they are incredibly loving parents and grandparents. there's not a day that goes by where they're not speaking to all four of their kids. >> jared's relationship with his father, in fact with his whole family is one of the warmest and closest relationships i've ever seen. >> as the son of holocaust survivors jared kushner felt strongly about judaism and jared and his siblings were raised in a deeply religious home, and also learned about the state of israel, sometimes first-hand. >> actually slept in jared kushner's bed on a visit to it kushner family home many years ago. >> american politicians spent time with the kushners as well. >> he knew all the politician. i can't tell you how many of his friends told me they met bill clinton at his office.
>> charlie kushner reported used his influence to help his son. >> people did not think he would be the first person in his class on his own to get accepted into harvard. jared was lucky he had a father that was connected and had deep pockets. >> tha 2006 book writing that jared kushner pledged $2.5 million to harvard the year that jared applied even though he had no personal connection to the school. jared was accepted. charlie kushner's representatives have said he was a generous donor to many causes. harvard does not comment on specific admissions cases. jared kushner began his freshman year in the fall of 1999 and he quickly started buying real estate near the campus, as he explained in this interview with cnbc. >> i found one deal that i really liked and i put together some numbers and i figured out how it could make sense.
and my father put up half the equity and my siblings, and i was able to go out and raise the money from different investors. >> but life in the kushner family was about to change. accusations surfaced in 2003 that charlie kushner was improperly using the family company funds. >> an investigation was started by chris christie and then u.s. attorneys in new jersey. >> there were allegations charlie kushner was misusing company funds. >> and the case exposed a rift in the kushner family. two of charlie's siblings turned against him and gave evidence to chris christie's team of federal prosecutors. >> entirely kushner lost it. he thought it was the ultimate act of betrayal. >> this triggered one of the most baroque and sensational revenge plots i had ever heard of. >> charles kushner is accused of having a prostitute seduce a
government witness. >> one of our witnesses did in fact engage in sexual conduct by a prostitute hired by mr. kushner, his conspirators. >> that witness was family, charlie's brother-in-law. he sent it to his sister, and she turned it over to authorities. >> so not only was charlie kushner facing possible finance crimes, he was now engaged in possible witness tampering. >> kushner eventually pleaded guilty in 2004 to 18 counts of filing false tax returns and campaign financial reports as well as retaliating against a witness. charlie kushner spent a year in federal prison in alabama leaving jared as the new head of the family business. he was 24 years old at the time, a graduate student in a joint business and law program at nyu. >> he's suddenly the ceo of a gigantic sprawling company. >> you had to feel bad for the kid because here he is being thrust into the limelight.
the family is in all the gossip pages, the tabloid, front pages. >> despite the embarrassment and tawdry drama jared stood by his father. >> he basically said while his actions while wrong were justified because his uncle violated the oath to the family. >> while charlie was in jail in alabama jared flew down there almost every weekend to see his father. >> i think he's an incredible man. we were very, very close and he's always been a great mentor and friend. >> those visits to alabama really sustain them both. >> while the crisis presented enormous challenges for jared kushner, it also gave him enormous opportunities. >> this was really the crucible that forged jared's character. he had to grow up and assume a level of maturity most people don't develop into the their 30s or 40s. >> and before long jared kushner had a new goal, relocating the
family business to new york city. >> coming up -- >> they both grew up under incredible scrutiny. they were lucky to find a partner who understood what that's like derstood what that's lik my mom was freedom, and my dad, adventure. they baptized me in mud and christened me on rock, so i got tougher. they fostered a love of learning,
so i got smarter. taught me to appreciate the finer things in life, so i became more civilized and refined. thank you, freedom and adventure, for giving me this rugged, civilized, wandering soul. now i know you're thinking, "i don't want to hear about insurance." cause let's be honest, nobody likes dealing with insurance, right? which is why esurance hired me, dennis quaid, as their spokesperson because apparently, i'm highly likable. i like dennis quaid. awww. and they want me to let you know that, cue overdramatic music, they're on a mission to make insurance painless.
excuse me, you dropped this. they know it's confusing. i literally have no idea what i'm getting, dennis quaid. that's why they're making it simple, man in cafe. and they know it's expensive. yeah. so they're making it affordable. thank you. you're welcome. that's a prop apple. now, you might not believe any of this since this is a television commercial, but that's why they're being so transparent. anyways. this is the end of the commercial where i walk off into a very dramatic sunset to reveal the new esurance tagline so that you'll remember it. esurance. it's surprisingly painless.
. jared kushner had taken over his family's new jersey real estate company at the age of 24. after his father was sent to prison. when charlie kushner returned to the company in 2006 he supported jared's push to relocate to new york city. their first deal certainly grabbed attention, a record breaking purchase of a s skyscraper at 666 fifth avenue. >> it was a great location on fifth avenue, perhaps the most desirable avenue in the city. >> this was a deal that put them on the map. they bought it for the highest price ever paid for a manhattan office property at the height of the mid-2000 real estate bubble. the price they paid was $1.8 billion. >> it was a huge amount even by new york real estate standards. but the kushners had no trouble raising the money.
>> this was a time when wall street was willing to lend gobs of money. so they borrowed almost the entire sale price. >> i think they bought it with almost $50 million down at one point, $8 million buildings that were highly leveraged. >> when the market crashed in 2008 the kushner's deal turned on them. >> commercial real estate, is that the next shoe to drop? >> there's obviously a lot of distress out there, and more distress to come. >> the number of tenants started to decline, the payments started it decline and it really backfired on him in a big way. >> over the next decade as the young mogul worked to settle the debt, he gained a different reputation than his hot-tempered father. >> jared took on a completely different persona. he's much quieter and reserved. he seems to listen. >> he tends to come across as very sort of affable. he's polite and there's something winning about him.
>> jared kushner was ambitious as well. as part of his move to establish himself in the city he decided in 2006 to invest in a very different type of venture. >> i'm jared kushner publisher of the new york observer. >> at the time the observer was a very important part of the new york media landscape. >> i saw it as a phenomenal brand. >> the purchase price was $10 million. and when kushner bought the paper it hit major financial problems as well. >> it really needed an injection of money. it wasn't going to be able to keep going as it was. >> kyle pope was named editor in 2009 as kushner pushed to make it profitable. >> i thought it was an incredible building but just hadn't been really properly invested in and run over the years. >> sort of i'm going to be the person who's going to unlock the secret, and it became clear to
me he really didn't have a lot of time for journalists, what they do or how they do it. >> according to pope kushner had his own ideas how to use the newspaper. the two clashed over a story kushner asked pope to look into. >> jared came to me during one of our weekly meetings and said we need this job on a banker. i finally said we're never going to do this story. this is like a liable issue. there was just a coldness that came after that and he became more openly critical of what i was doing. >> pope left in 2011 after just 15 months, two more editors came and quickly left. >> the hit piece was not a one time thing because the editor that came after me wrote that the same thing happened to her. >> but family friend kirsten took over the observer in 2014, and he says he had a different experience working with kushner.
>> jared never ordered a hit piece on anyone. not any of his real estate rivals, political rivals, anything else. i really believe jared never got the credit he deserves for being an excellent publisher. this guy invested, said yes to reasonable plans. >> soon after buying the paper the 26-year-old kushner went to a business lunch that would change his life. associates wanted him to meet another young real estate executive, ivanka trump. >> i could see right away how much chemistry there was between them, and i thought they're probably going to get married. >> they are the most suited for one another couple. they're both ambitious notice same way. they both work in the same industry, and that work is important to them. >> they both grew up under incredible scrutiny, and not all of it positive. in that they both have parents who occasionally attract intense negative emotions. they were lucky to find a partner who understood what that's like. >> but from the beginning there was a serious impediment to the
relationship. >> jared comes from a very observant orthodox jewish family. ivanka trump was christian. and it was imperative for jared's parents that jared marry a jewish woman. >> and it broke them up. ivanka was devastated. >> the couple eventually got back together, and ivanka converted to judaism. they wed in front of 500 guests at trump national golf club in 2009, and they assumed their place in new york society. but friends say their life is very much centered at home. >> one thing they don't know about jared is what kind of father he is and husband he is. he's got to be a great husband. >> the couple balanced raising their three children with their real estate careers and personal ventures. >> so this is sample of some of our collections. >> ivanka trump marketed her own
line of clothing and accessories and kushner invested heavily in tech companies. >> he just told me a lot about how he helped fund raise hundreds of millions of dollars for startups and helped get evaluations into billions of dollars. and it was clear he had a pretty incredible network. >> jared's rodex was massive. >> meanwhile kushner's company, he brought it into trendy brooklyn neighborhoods, and there was much more. >> they went on a buying spree. they were buying all kinds of different properties. they seemed to be everywhere at once. >> but there was a threat on the horizon. that overpriced building at 666 fifth avenue and the $1.2 billion debt that was coming due. >> it's the building that made their entree in new york and the building that for a while threatened their entire
business. >> coming up -- >> he just got everybody in line. got everybody in line it senses your movement and automatically adjusts to keep you both comfortable. and now, during our fall sale weekend special, the queen sleep number 360 c2 smart bed is only $899. plus, free home delivery. ends monday.
i never thought i'd say this but i found bladder leak underwear that's actually pretty. always discreet boutique. hidden inside is a super absorbent core that quickly turns liquid to gel. so i feel protected and pretty. always discreet boutique. [ horn honking ] [ engine revving ] what's that, girl? [ engine revving ] flo needs help?! [ engine revving ] take me to her! ♪ coming, flo! why aren't we taking roads?! flo. [ horn honking ] -oh. you made it. do you have change for a dollar? -this was the emergency? [ engine revving ] yes, i was busy! -24-hour roadside assistance. from america's number-one motorcycle insurer. -you know, i think you're my best friend. you don't have to say i'm your best friend. -you know, i think you're my best friend.
minutes can mean the difference between life and death. proposition 11 saves lives by ensuring medical care is not delayed in an emergency. proposition 11 establishes into law the longstanding industry practice of paying emts and paramedics to remain on-call during breaks and requires they receive fema level training and active shooters and natural disasters. vote yes on 11 to ensure 911 emergency care is there when you or your love one need it. with pg&e in the sierras. and i'm an arborist since the onset of the drought, more than 129 million trees have died in california. pg&e prunes and removes over a million trees every year to ensure that hazardous trees can't impact power lines. and since the onset of the drought we've doubled our efforts. i grew up in the forests out in this area and honestly it's heartbreaking to see all these trees dying. what guides me is ensuring that the public is going to be safer and that these forests can be sustained and enjoyed by the community in the future.
i'm dara brown with the hour's top stories. secretary of state mike pompeo meeting with north korea leader kim jong-un on sunday. both men agreeing to arrange a second summit between the two nations and potential denuclearization steps. and 20 people are dead after a limo crashed into an suv in up state new york on sunday. federal investigators are investigating the accident. now back to "headliners, jared kushner." i am officially running for president of the united states. >> jared kushner's father-in-law donald trump was known for bold moves. but running for president surpassed them all. and jared's life was once more
going to take a startling turn. >> i will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before. >> the 34-year-old kushner was soon swept up in donald trump's bare bones campaign. >> it was such a seat of its pants operation. donald trump didn't really have a lot of people on staff. jared was someone who was able to get involved. he was willing to do the legwork. >> this was an opportunity of a lifetime anyone would kill for especially a highly ambitious incredibly driven person. >> inkushner was a member of the northeast alete, and now he was traveling to working class towns and meeting people far removed from his privileged circles. >> she's very tough, by the way, i have to tell you, right, jared? a jared's a great young man, went to harvard.
>> i didn't know the real america until i started making these stops, jared would tell friends. >> and we are going to make america greats again. believe me, i promise you. >> as the trump campaign's rhetoric became more divisive kushner's social circle back in new york pulled away from him. >> being aligned with this populist extreme rhetoric that donald trump repeated constantly as a candidate has forced both jared and ivanka to lose multiple relationships. >> even one of kushner's business relationships was affected. in january 2016 jared made an investment in a high tech startup called good uncle, spearheaded by intratrupruneur. >> throughout his campaign it became clear jared was involved and it became uncomfortable with his overwhelming support and not just support but involvement in the campaign.
and i called kushner and said our investors agree and we would like to give your money back. not a typical thing a startup does. >> really kushner did not take the news well. >> jared said this was a cowardly call, and the election allowed him to exfoliate his friends, to see which ones would break. >> i humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the united states. >> once donald trump clenched the nomination the campaign gained access to a treasure troef trove of data about american voters. >> in 2014 a data set was plug and play ready for the future candidate. >> kushner and web designer brad parscale setout to capitalize on
the data. together they would rewrite the play book for a presidential campaign. >> jared right out of the gate understood we need to weaponinize that data. he started making phone calls, friends and people we knew around the country that had success online. he allowed me to have a crash course in some of the best marketing techniques across the country. i was ready to soak those in and jared made that possible. >> the team carefully mapped out which message would play in which region right down to the level of towns, neighborhoods and even city blocks. >> what they were doing was next level stuff. the technology that brad parscale and jared toughner built and ran mostly out of texas was extraordinary. >> one of the merits i think jared should take credit for as well as as a team hillary clinton made 66,000 ads on the campaign. we made 5.5 million. >> the president raised more
money online than any other republican has ever raised. >> but it was not enough just to promote their candidate. as in any campaign there was a search for evidence they could. when word reached trump tower that the russians might have damaging information about hillary clinton, donald trump, jr., setup a meeting. he forwarded the e-mail chain to kushner and asked him to join. >> jared kushner was present at the june 2016 meeting at trump tower between don junior and a russian lawyer with ties to the kremlin. the purpose of that meeting was set up so that the russians could give dirt to don junior about hillary clinton. >> but kushner's lawyer insists that jared was in the dark about the meeting's agenda. >> everybody needs to understand the chronology of that meeting. jared was told about a meeting that happened in trump tower somewhere in passing with his brother. no topic was mentioned and the date and a time was set.
when jared got into the room the conversation was about russian adoption. >> kushner has said he asked an assistant to contact him so he could excuse himself from the meeting. >> he was probably in the room about 10 or 12 minutes. what happened before and after he wasn't there to see. >> while there was no evidence useful information was conveyed in that meeting alleged connections between the trump and russia campaign including jared kushner are a major focus of the mueller probe. the trump team was thrown into panic by the release of the notorio notorio notorio notorious access hollywood tape one month before election. even some republican leaders were appalled by the tape and called for trump to step down. despite his father-in-law's shocking words, jared kushner encouraged him to stay in the race. >> as the tapes started to spin out of control with the press he just got everybody in line.
he's making phone calls, he was talking to people. he got right in front of trump, he looked at him and said this is what we're going to do, we're going to we fine and tomorrow we're going to win this thing. he showed his character that night. >> still as election day approached many of the trump campaign did not believe victory was in the cards, even kushner was skeptical. >> there was a whole plan in place from all of them for what would happen after the election. jared was very well aware of their reputational reboot, close friends of his said to him, well, everyone thinks you're a jerk. you're going to have a lot of work to do in order to rebuild your reputation. and he would just look at them and say i know, i know, i know. so when the votes were cast that day and things started looking good for him he was calling around people saying, i think this might actually happen. that was not something that they were planning for. they were planning for the
opposite. >> america will no longer settle for anything less than the best. >> coming up -- >> now he's going to war with jeff sessions and the rest of the justice department. session the justice department here we go. discover. i like your card, but i'm absolutely not paying an annual fee. discover has no annual fees. really? yeah. we just don't believe in them. oh nice. you would not believe how long i've been rehearsing that. no annual fee on any card. only from discover.
get stronger... get closer. start listening today to the world's largest selection of audiobooks on audible. and now, get more. for just $14.95 a month, you'll get a credit a month good for any audiobook, plus two audible originals exclusive titles you can't find anywhere else. if you don't like a book, you can exchange it any time, no questions asked. automatically roll your credits over to the next month if you don't use them. with the free audible app, you can listen anytime, and anywhere. plus for the first time ever, you'll get access to exclusive fitness programs a $95 value free with membership. start a 30-day trial today and your first audiobook is free. cancel anytime and your books are yours to keep forever.
i donald john trump do solemnenly swear. >> it was one of the most surprising political victories in american history. >> congratulations, mr. president. >> and many observers gave jared kushner credit as a key strategist. it was clear that donald trump recognized how much he owed his victory to the work of his son-in-law. >> i think he got to see kushner up close during the 2016 campaign. he decided kushner, however, took to be a court advisor.
>> we're going to make as much impact in the areas we care about, and that's really how we judge ourselves. >> even as kushner began his new role in the white house law enforcement officials were raising questions about his activities during the transition period. >> during hemet with a very influential russian banker who has ties to the kremlin. >> was it appropriate for you to meet with the russian officials? >> and it was just not just the banker. in 2016 kushner met secretly with russian ambassador sergey kislyak inside trump tower. under discussion was a plan to setup a back door communication channel between the trump team and moskow that would go through the russian embassy. >> if you look at this pattern with meeting of a kremlin aligned lawyer, meeting with a kremlin aligned banker and then an offer to use russian communications equipment to talk to moskow, that raises a lot of questions about really why jared seemed to be so solicitous of
russians. >> kushner would later testify about these meetings in closed door sessions in the house, the senate and for robert mueller. he also gave a rare public statement. >> i did nautica lewd with russia, nor do i know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. i had no improper contacts, and i have been fully transparent in providing all requested information. >> jared, how did you not know about the donald trump meeting when the subject line said russian confidential. >> jared probably had 40, 50 contacts during the transition period with countries all over the world. and his approach was always the sail. this is new administration, we're going to start over. >> despite the investigations kushner developed a reputation in washington as a way into the trump white house. >> i think that he is a go-to person for a lot of people. people know that he communicates
directly with the president, and the president takes his advice. >> but over time kushner's primary responsibilities were quietly cut back to the middle east, prison reform and trade negotiations with mexico and canada. >> i think that jared kushner discovered that the white house is more complicated than he had expected it to be. so he began to increasingly focus his ininjar es on discreet priorities. >> a big priority was criminal justice reform, something on jared's mind since the days of visiting his father in an alabama prison. >> this is an issue i had personal experience with, so i spent some time thinking about from the white house what can be done. >> what he realized is that the there's a lot of changes that can be made, and that he's in a position along with great people on the outside both from the left and the right. >> one of those outside people was mark holder who held a prison reform group affiliated
with coke industries. together they help craft a bill called the first step act, which was passed oeverwhelmingly in te house of representatives in may 2018. >> the first step act was to help rehabilitate people who are incarcerated so when they come out they can get jobs, they can get an education, they don't go back to prison. >> as the bill moves to the senate kushner finds himself at odds with others in the trump administration. >> now, he's going to war with jeff sessions and the rest of the justice department on this. the conservative leadership of the justice department is trying to go the other direction. it's trying to toughen sentences and make things harsher again. and so this is a struggle for kushner. >> for those alarmed by the rise of trump there was hope that jared and ivanka would be a moderating counter force to the extremism of the new administration, especially on issues of immigration and race. but that hasn't happened. >> well, what jared and ivanka have been extremely successful
at doing are convincing people that they are influential and that they have no influence. >> they've also had to overlook some of the boss' more questionable behaviors. >> one of the things i can astonishing about jared and ivanka is sort of that tunnel vision, not wanting to address the elephant in the room and the elephant being president trump and his conduct. >> jared and ivanka knew more than anybody there was no moderating their father. >> kushner husband destroyed years of white house tradition by retaining a share of his family businesses, although he no longer directs the investments himself. >> he could have made the decision of simply selling them off, holding onto nothing. he did not do that. he chose to hold onto according to "the post" about 90%. >> if you continue to retain outside businesses, you remain
susceptible to corrupt and undue influence, particularly when you have these types of assets and the lack of transparency with respect to them. >> but kushner's attorney abbey local, says that jared has stayed well within the ethcical guidelines. >> that's what we should expect of public officials. and if we are getting to the point we are going to demand people who come into government do things like divest or blind trust, we're going to lose a lot of talent. >> one could make the argument don't you want great talented people to work in our government, sure. but only if they're truly conflict-free. >> tha sign of just how much they have invested jared and ivanka reported making $82 million during their first year in the white house. >> he has holdings. when those appreciate and somebody in the world of his investments sell that asset, if it is sold at a profit, he is
going to, quote, make money while he's in government, end quote. >> but for kushner companies having a family member in the white house has been a mixed blessing. as they searched for financial rescue from a looming debt on 666 fifth avenue potential deals fell through, reportedly due to concerns about possible conflicts of interest. >> jared's entry into the to the white house was a moment of pride for charlie, but at the same time it's been a problem for the kushner companies. there's a great deal of scrutiny over conflicts of interests. >> that may be impeding them now from getting business, but there is life after this white house, and many in the know predict that ultimately this will be a big boom to business. >> in august of 2018 there was bittersweet news for kushner companies. brookfield, an asset management firm, agreed to lease 666 fifth avenue for 99 years. it was a much needed bail out for the cushners, but at the
same time an emotion loss. they were losing control over one of new york's signature properties. coming up -- >> he said he has already made up his mind and basically refused to meet with him. his m refused to meet with him 'saved e insurance with geico. goin' up the country. later, gary' i have a motorcycle! wonderful. ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ geico motorcycle, great rates for great rides.
as the white house point person for mideast affairs jared kushner had worked for months to bring about this celebration in may 2018. >> in december of last year president trump announced to world that the united states would finally recognize the truth, that jerusalem is the capital of israel. he also declared that we would soon move our embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem and just five months later we are standing on these grounds. >> it was very exciting. one of the most exciting days i've ever had and one of the
most meaningful days. and jared was really critical to that. >> jared and his family have had a relationship with netanyahu for years. so the fact that the embassy got moved from jared's perspective is a massive win. >> but not everyone in the region was celebrating. >> now to the deadly clashes at the border between israel and gaza. dozens of palestinians have been killed, thousands more wounded as protests erupt over the opening of the u.s. embassy in jerusalem. >> the palestinians also claim jerusalem as their capitol, and kushner the designated mideast peace negotiator had not consulted them about the embassy move. the u.s. was now taking sides in the dispute over the city. 128 countries and the united nations joined the palestinians in opposing the u.s. actions. even ambassador dennis ross, a supporter of the embassy move was dismayed. >> there was a need for the arab
leaders to play a role in this process. i didn't have a problem on the decision of jerusalem, i had a problem with the way it was done. >> the episode in jerusalem raised doubts about kushner's impartiality. >> when kushner weeks later went back to do negotiations on the middle east peace plan, the palestinians has said he's already made up his mind and they basically refused to meet with him. >> since then the trump administration has cut off aid to palestinian groups and shutdown the palestinian offices in washington. kushner said these actions will give his negotiation office, quote arb where much higher chance of actually achieving a real peace. and kushner has had more success with an international mission much closer to home, repairing negotiations with mexico which had been damaged during the election. >> and yes we will build a
great, great wall. >> he listened. which is not something we were expecting with someone as close as jared is to president trump. >> as jared arranged a meeting between president trump and mexican president nieto broke down. >> jared brought back the relations and has been instrumental ipdriving the relations since then. >> in 2018 prum announced a new provisional trade agreement with mexico and canada, an agreement kushner played a key role in negotiating. >> this is terrific deal for all of us. >> we wouldn't be here today if it were not for several people who contributed so much to this endeavor. first, the president's key advisor and my good friend, jared kushner was my partner in leading the u.s. negotiating team.
>> but even as he negotiated over some of the world's most volatile borders, kushner did not have permanent security clearance. >> was the fact he couldn't get a permanent security clearance for a while related to his contacts with the russians in 2016 and during the transition? was there something robert mueller knew that was preventing him from getting his security clearance? >> 16 months after the president took office kushner received security clearance. though the reason why it took so long remains unknown. jared kushner continues to remain at the center of national power and close to the president. >> my wife and i feel like we've made a difference so far and there's a lot more impact we have the ability to make. >> kushner has already survived and even thrived through some of the most tumultuous times in white house history, and the storm is not over. >> i think the mueller investigation for jared is huge, and there's just no way around the risk that it poses to him
particularly given his experience watching his father go to prison. i think even the potential of some legal peril really looms large. >> as events unfold in washington it's likely jared kushner's profound sense of loyalty will it's a very complicated story. and why am i in the middle of it? >> the infamous trump tower meeting, it's consumed washington for more than a year. now, the man who holds the key to how it all happened, shares new details. >> it was a dirty offer that they accepted? >> yes. that is true. >> is the meeting the special counsel's best evidence of possible collusion between the campaign and russia? we go inside the room with a first-hand account. >> suddenly what should have been two people and don jr. was