Thursday, May 18, 2017

Working for Americans??

On the afternoon of May 1, President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, welcomed a high-level delegation of Saudis to a gilded reception room next door to the White House and delivered a brisk pep talk: “Let’s get this done today.”

Mr. Kushner was referring to a $100 billion-plus arms deal that the administration hoped to seal with Saudi Arabia in time to announce it during Mr. Trump’s visit to the kingdom this weekend. The two sides discussed a shopping list that included planes, ships and precision-guided bombs. Then an American official raised the idea of the Saudis’ buying a sophisticated radar system designed to shoot down ballistic missiles.

Sensing that the cost might be a problem, several administration officials said, Mr. Kushner picked up the phone and called Marillyn A. Hewson — the chief executive of Lockheed Martin, which makes the radar system — and asked her whether she could cut the price. As his guests watched slack-jawed, Ms. Hewson told him she would look into it, officials said.


While Mr. Kushner’s middle-of-the-meeting call to a military contractor was unorthodox, current and former officials said, it did not appear to raise legal issues.

Maybe not, but it does raise questions about just who he's negotiating for.
[T]he episode was reminiscent of Lockheed’s decision in February to cut the price of F-35 fighter jets it was selling to the Pentagon after Mr. Trump complained to Ms. Hewson that the planes were too expensive.
Yes, but that was negotiating for the Pentagon. Not the Saudis.
Mr. Kushner, White House officials said, began building ties to members of the Saudi royal family during the transition.
He's setting himself up for personal business deals after he leaves the White House.
But officials emphasized that Mr. Kushner’s work on the deal was part of a governmentwide effort that includes the State Department, the Defense Department and the National Security Council.
Sure. He didn't call any of them before calling Lockheed.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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