The Kushner Companies, a firm owned by the family of Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to President Trump, has apologized for mentioning his White House role during a recent event in China.
According to CNN Money, the company issued a statement saying, “Ms. [Nicole] Meyer wanted to make clear that her brother had stepped away from the company in January and has nothing to do with this project.”
Nicole Meyer is Jared Kushner’s sister.
A spokesperson also reportedly told the Washington Post that the firm “apologizes if that mention of [Meyer’s] brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors.”
According to the New York Times, the controversy occurred in Beijing Saturday when Meyer tried to solicit wealthy Chinese investors for a Kushner Companies real estate project in New Jersey called One Journal Square.
She reportedly told attendees, “In 2008, my brother Jared Kushner joined the family company as CEO, and recently moved to Washington to join the administration.” She has also been quoted as saying that the project “means a lot to me and my entire family.”
As Noah Bookbinder, with the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told NPR, “It’s highly problematic. It appears that Jared Kushner’s family business is using his name and his official position to bring in investment.”
The event has also attracted controversy over its promotion of the EB-5 visa, a program which provides foreign citizens a path for legal U.S. residency if a minimum of $500,000 is invested in an eligible project.
The Washington Post notes that an event brochure is even said to have featured the tagline, “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”