Transcript for Jared and Ivanka not 'moral center' of administration: Author of 'Kushner, Inc.'
I, on a personal level, have been the subject of -- of many leaks that I know not to be true because they were based on things that it was professed that I had said or hadn't said or situations I had been or not been in. So I tend not to pay too much attention to leaks and anonymous sourcing. Ivanka Trump speaking out, and the release of Kushner inc. Greed, ambition, corruption, the extraordinary story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. It's by investigative journalist, Vicky ward who joins your book is a tough take on Jared and ivanka. Yeah. And their time in the white house, and team trump is fighting back very, very hard. I want to put up a statement from Peter mirijanian. He's a spokesperson for Jared Kushner. He said everything she mentioned in her fact checking stage was false. Campaign manager in 2020 for trump also says, this book is a fantasy and simply a false narrative. Your response? I would be curious if Brad Pascal has read it. It's not out yet, George. It comes out on Tuesday. Look. Jared and ivanka famously don't like it if people don't say great things about them. I wasn't expecting them to turn around and say, oh. She makes some good points. You know, I spent two years researching this. I interviewed 220 individual people, 118 of those multiple times. I recognize that the book does have a lot of anonymous sources, but I make it a point of principle when reporting to make sure that every seed has at least two sources. It's not just based on one person's recollection of events. It has to be double sourced, you know, that's the only way you can really deal with anonymous sources. How about their point on the fact checking? The white house is maintaining that you didn't call Jared or ivanka's offices in the white house for a response. That's rubbish. That is absolute rubbish. I called -- it actually -- it took me a long time to get them on the phone, but he wouldn't respond to several e-mails. I finally got him last summer and he said that he would, on behalf of Jared and ivanka, respond to fact checking questions. Well, I then sent the fact checking questions. There were, like, seven or eight of them and they needed yes or no answers. They then delivered their rather ludicrous statement that it would take too much time. Look, you know, it is what it is. This white house is known for knocking down anyone who reports about it and I think Jared and ivanka are obsessed with public relations. You know, more so than anyone else, and I think that, you know, there has been this myth out there. I think the theme of the book is these are two people who are not what we hoped they would be. They are not the moral center of this administration. They are not the -- You think they are enablers? I think -- they are almost worse than enablers. I think that most people go into government for public service. I think they have gone in for self-service. That gets to what really is the most loaded charge that's right on the cover of your book, corruption. That implies criminality. Jared spent dozens of hours with prosecutors, being investigated and being interviewed. No charges have been brought. What evidence do you have that they are guilty of something that would require charges on the issue of corruption? Right. So let's begin the very first weekend of the transition. Jared Kushner does not tell anyone else on the transition that he is having a meeting with his father and with other executives of his New York real estate company, Kushner companies with a major Chinese insurance firm and bank to try to sell their very troubled building in New York. At the same time, on behalf of the transition, he is holding meetings with Chinese government officials and not -- and keeping all this complete -- his business dealings close to his vest. When Gary Cohn -- His economic adviser. Yes, and Steve Bannon. When all the transition colleagues heard about this, they were horrified. Gary said to him, Jared. You realize that from now on, everything you do makes it look as if you are in government purely to enrich yourself. I think that is the appearance of corruption, George. Gary Cohn is quoted several times in the book with quite critical statements including after charlottesville. He has put out a statement saying they have worked well together, continue to be friends to this day. That's not saying it didn't happen, did it though, George? Did he tell you these things? I'm a journalist and I protect my sources, but he's not saying it didn't happen, and if I, you know, you could phone Gary Cohn. I think I will.
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