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President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka Trump, spoke for the first time ever about his role in the Trump campaign in an interview with Forbes. In addition to speculation about receiving top secret security clearance, Kushner has been rumored to be starting a Trump TV network.
Kushner, owner of The New York Observer, was called the “biggest surprise of the 2016 election” by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Forbes wrote that Kushner researched “policy positions on tax and trade” and built a policy team.
“I helped facilitate a lot of relationships that wouldn’t have happened otherwise,” Kushner told Forbes. “People were being told in Washington that if they did any work for the Trump campaign, they would never be able to work in Republican politics again. I hired a great tax-policy expert who joined under two conditions: We couldn’t tell anybody he worked for the campaign, and he was going to charge us double.”
Kushner also created a speech team and 100-person data hub responsible for streamlining fundraising efforts as well as messaging and targeting. “I called somebody who works for one of the technology companies that I work with, and I had them give me a tutorial on how to use Facebook micro-targeting,” he said.
Recent research shows the Trump campaign may have also benefited from fake election news on Facebook, which outperformed real election news in the final election months. One fake news writer who reportedly earns $10,000 a month from the stories said, "Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore—I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it."
Kushner was also in charge of Trump’s schedule and finances. Forbes pointed out that “until the final days of the campaign, [Kushner] did all this without anyone on the outside knowing about it.”
Asked about the president-elect’s statements about Muslims, women, and Mexicans, among others, Kushner defended his father-in-law. “I just know a lot of the things that people try to attack him with are just not true or overblown or exaggerations," Kushner claimed. "I know his character. I know who he is, and I obviously would not have supported him if I thought otherwise. If the country gives him a chance, they’ll find he won’t tolerate hateful rhetoric or behavior.”