Jared Kushner defends Trump, Bannon against racism and antisemitism allegations

Kushner on President-elect Trump: "If the country gives him a chance, they’ll find he won’t tolerate hateful rhetoric or behavior."

November 22, 2016 16:39
1 minute read.

Trump campaign manager denies influence from extreme-right groups

Trump campaign manager denies influence from extreme-right groups


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Jared Kushner, the grandson of Holocaust survivors and the son of major Democratic donors, has held a prominent position in the campaign of his father-in-law, Donald Trump.  Forbes called him, "A devout Jew advising a president-elect embraced by the alt-right and supported by the KKK."

However, Kushner has consistently defended Trump and their close relationship. "I don’t think it’s very controversial," he told Forbes in a report published online Tuesday, "in an election to become the president of the United States to say that your position is to put America first and to be nationalist as opposed to a globalist."

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Further, Kushner stated that he feels Trump has been hostilely and incorrectly characterized by the media. "I just know a lot of the things that people try to attack him with are just not true or overblown or exaggerations," he said. And, despite the rash of racist acts and vandalism recently carried out in Trump's name, Kushner insisted, "I know his character. I know who he is, and I obviously would not have supported him if I thought otherwise. If the country gives him a chance, they’ll find he won’t tolerate hateful rhetoric or behavior.”

Regarding the support Trump has garnered from white nationalists and the KKK, Kushner said, "Trump has disavowed their support 25 times. He’s renounced hatred, he’s renounced bigotry, and he’s renounced racism. I don’t know if he could ever denounce them enough for some people." He then paraphrased Ronald Regan in saying "Just because they support me doesn’t mean that I support them."

Kushner's faith in Trump, Forbes reported, is matched by his support for Steve Bannon, Trump's recently appointed strategic adviser, who has been embroiled in controversy of his own. "All I know about Steve," Kushner said, "is my experience working with him. He’s an incredible Zionist and loves Israel."

An Orthodox Jew, whose wife Ivanka Trump converted to Judaism before they married, Kushner and his family have connections to Israel. Along with his father, also a prominent real-estate developer, Kushner was listed in a 2015 report by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as a benefactor for its real-estate committee, which required a donation of at least $36,000 to the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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