White House senior advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, sought to assert some authority over flights funded by the State Department, according to a new book by journalist Vicky Ward.
The book, “Kushner Inc: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump” is sourced from interviews with over 200 people. It comes out March 19, according to The New York Times, which first caught a glimpse of the book.
Like many other White House tell-alls that have been published during Trump’s first term, it paints an unflattering picture at the chaos in the Trump administration, and discord among its senior staff.
According to “Kushner Inc.,” Ivanka frequently asked to travel on Air Force planes when it was not always necessary. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was eventually fired in March 2018, rejected Ivanka’s requests.
Ivanka reportedly found a work-around by inviting cabinet-level officials to the trip, The Times reported, citing the book.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who himself was embroiled in scandal for reportedly wanting to use an $25,000-an-hour Air Force jet to travel to Europe for his honeymoon, was often invited by Ivanka and Jared in order to justify the trip.
Seating arrangements on flights have been problematic for White House officials throughout Trump’s presidency. In November 2018, First Lady Melania Trump was reportedly in a spat with deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel over travel arrangements during the first lady’s maiden overseas trip to Africa.
In an unprecedented statement, Melania’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham referenced Ricardel and said “it is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.”
Ricardel later left the White House to “transition to a new role within the Administration,” according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
In a statement to The Times, a spokesman for Abbe Lowell, Kushner’s attorney, flatly rejected the claims made in the book.
“Every point that Ms. Ward mentioned in what she called her ‘fact checking’ stage was entirely false,” spokesman Peter Mirijanian said. “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.”