Behind the scenes? Even more out-of-control.
New excerpts of Kushner, Inc., the forthcoming book by investigative journalist Vicky Ward, describe first daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, as clashing with everyone from former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to former top White House strategist Steve Bannon, who reportedly told the first daughter: “Go fuck yourself.”
The couple, reported to be widely disliked by many Trump administration staffers, has been derided for their conflicts of interest and for White House meddling, according to Ward’s book, which will be out March 19.
Regarding the book, a spokesperson for Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Jared Kushner, said in a statement: “Every point that Ms. Ward mentioned in what she called her ‘fact checking’ stage was entirely false. It seems she has written a book of fiction rather than any serious attempt to get the facts. Correcting everything wrong would take too long and be pointless.”
Likewise, White House officials have dismissed Ward’s work.
Whether the book is fiction or fact, it’s loaded with juicy-yet-terrifying drama behind the scenes at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Here are its craziest claims:
Ivanka Plans to Run for President
In an excerpt published by The Guardian this morning, former top White House strategist Steve Bannon reportedly told senior adviser Ivanka Trump: “Go fuck yourself… you are nothing”—right in front of her father.
The book claims that the first daughter responded by calling Bannon a “fucking liar” and that she has plans to solidify a Trump political dynasty to match the Bushes and Kennedys by formally entering politics herself once her father’s reign is over.
“She thinks she’s going to be president of the United States,” Gary Cohn, formerly Trump’s top economic adviser, told Ward.
Tillerson and Cohn Confronted Jared Over His Conflicts of Interest
Fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson blamed Kushner for the president’s endorsement of a diplomatic campaign and military blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia in June 2017, telling him that “his interference had endangered the U.S,” according to an unidentified aide to Tillerson.
Meanwhile, Cohn, for his part, took issue with Kushner in January 2017, when news reports revealed the first son-in-law met with executives from Chinese financial corporation Anbang, according to The Guardian’s write-up. He was reportedly trying to get the company to invest in his family’s debt-ridden tower at 666 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan.
“You’ve got to be crazy,” Cohn allegedly told Kushner, over the meeting. He reportedly dined with the executives around the same time he met with Chinese government officials at the same tower.
A Qatari-backed investment fund eventually bought in, rescuing Kushner Cos.’ most costly venture.
Everyone at the White House Dislikes the Couple
Former Chief of Staff John Kelly, who previous excerpts claim was ordered by the president to “get rid of my kids,” had an insane balancing act.
According to the Ward excerpt, he allegedly dismissed the pair as “just playing government,” while staffers mocked Ivanka’s team as HABI, or the “home of all bad ideas.” At the same time, White House officials reportedly call Kushner “secretary of everything” over his meddling.
Ivanka also is said to have ruffled feathers by interfering in phone calls between her father and foreign dignitaries.
“Thanks so much for the CD you sent me,” she apparently told an Indian leader, according to a person who heard the call.
“It quickly became apparent to Kushner and Ivanka that they were not universally liked by the new team of presidential lawyers and their spokesman,” writes Ward, according to an excerpt published by ABC News. “One strong clue: They kept being asked to leave the room. The lawyers noticed that the couple, one or the other of them, mostly Ivanka, interrupted pretty much every meeting they had with the president.”
“‘They were reckless,’ said Corallo. ‘They were omnipresent.’”
An Aide to Cohn Accidentally Saw the Comey Letter First
Just before President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, then-White House counsel Donald McGahn sent the dismissal letter to the wrong printer, according to an excerpt published by Axios. Cohn told the aide who accidentally saw the letter to take it straight to McGahn’s office, where he shouted “Oh, fuck!” after realizing his mistake.
Jared and Ivanka Are a Huge Distraction to Trump
According to Mark Corallo, the former spokesman for the Trump White House’s legal team, it was “difficult” to even get the president’s attention when the couple was present.
“You can’t have a conversation without him talking about her,” Corallo told Ward. “‘Isn’t Ivanka fabulous? I mean, is she not one of the best-looking women you’ve ever seen? And they’re good kids, and I just think it’s crazy. They’ve got a nice life in New York. What do they want to do this for? God, they’re fabulous, though. Aren’t they fantastic? I mean, have you ever seen a better-looking couple?’”
Ivanka and Jared Went All Out Against Mark Corallo
Once Javanka turned against Corallo for a perceived lack of loyalty, he heard from “six or seven reporters” that “his integrity was being attacked.”
“He was indignant,” writes Ward. “A mutual friend of the Trumps and of Corallo had warned him, ‘Keep your head down, be careful. I’m worried about you, because the minute one faction perceives that you are on somebody else’s team, the knives are going to come out, and they’re going to try to kill you.’”
But apparently Corallo replied, “Hey, buddy, I’m too old for that. If I feel like I’m being attacked, I’m out of there. I mean, life’s too short.”
Instead of apologizing, Corallo quit.
Corallo Told Hope Hicks She’d Be a ‘Witness in a Federal Criminal Investigation’
Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director, tangled with Corallo over their conflicting responses to the story about Donald Trump Jr.’s June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
Donald Trump Jr. reportedly told The New York Times: “It was a short, introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up.... I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”
During an argument about the statements in which the president’s longtime aide claimed she “had it handled” with the Times, Corallo told Hicks: “You just made yourself a witness in a federal criminal investigation, because the statement you guys put out is not accurate.”
She purportedly began to cry and hung up the phone.
A day later, Trump and Hicks called and accused him of making the story “bigger… than it is.”
“‘Well, Mr. President, The New York Times is not going to stop reporting on this,” Corallo reportedly replied. “‘This is not a one-day story, because the truth is going to come out, because there are documents, as I understand it, that will prove that the statement you guys put out was not accurate, and it’ll make it even bigger.”
Hicks reportedly replied, “‘Only a few people have [the emails]. They will never get out.’”
According to the excerpt, Corallo insisted: “Mr. President, we can’t have this discussion without the lawyers. I am urging you to talk to your attorneys... Please do not talk to me about this. Please protect the privilege.”
Trump then reportedly told him, “I don’t know what the hell you are talking about.”