Data released by the Small Business Administration (SBA) shows that pandemic relief money intended to benefit struggling business entities wound up in the hands of large multinational corporations, including those owned by President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, White House adviser Jared Kushner.
NBC News obtained the information which shows that nearly $4 million in money from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) made its way into businesses allied with Trump and Kushner:
“Over 25 PPP loans worth more than $3.65 million were given to businesses with addresses at Trump and Kushner real estate properties, paying rent to those owners. Fifteen of the properties self-reported that they only kept one job, zero jobs, or did not report a number at all.
“The loans to Trump and Kushner properties included a $2,164,543 loan to the Triomphe Restaurant Corp., at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York City. The company reported the money didn’t go to keeping any jobs. It later closed.”
The purpose of the PPP loans to allow businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and U.S. lockdown stay afloat and not lay off workers, yet the SBA information makes it clear that when it came to those with ties to the president and son-in-law, the amount of employees wasn’t even taken into consideration.
Even more telling is the fact that news organizations had to sue in order to get access to the SBA data, which also shows:
- A company called LB City Inc, which is located at Kushner’s Bungalow Hotel in Long Branch, New Jersey, received a loan for $505,552.50 that it used to keep 155 jobs.
- Two tenants at 725 5th Avenue, Trump Tower, received more than $100,000 and kept only three jobs.
- Four tenants at the Kushner-owned 666 5th Avenue combined received more than $204,000, and retained only six jobs.
Christopher W Smith, who serves as general counsel for the Kushner Companies, told NBC his client had done nothing improper:
“The notion that Kushner Companies somehow improperly benefited from CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans is completely untrue and amounts to nothing more than politically motivated nonsense.”
That was echoed by a spokesperson for the Trump Organization, who said in a statement:
“The Trump Organization was specifically excluded from receiving PPP money, per Senate legislation. In other words, no Trump entity received pandemic-related loans from the government.”
The Trump administration has repeatedly tried to assure Americans that they have done everything within their power to lessen the financial impact of the pandemic in the United States. But it appears they were also busy lining the pockets of those with close ties to their own business interests.
Featured Image Via NBC News