Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka Trump, is pursuing deals in Albania and Serbia even as his father-in-law runs for president. Some observers say the situation raises red flags.

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Jared Kushner is reportedly pursuing development projects abroad, despite the ongoing presidential campaign of his father-in-law Donald Trump.

Kushner confirmed to The New York Times this week that he is close to finalizing real estate deals in the Eastern European countries of Albania and Serbia. The deals in the Balkans appear to have been made possible by relationships Kushner acquired while working in the White House as a senior official, according to the Times. 

Kushner — who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump — is working on the deals with Richard Grenell, who had a brief stint as acting director of national intelligence during the Trump administration as well as serving as ambassador to Germany and special envoy to the Balkans.

One of Kushner’s proposed projects is the development of an island off the coast of Albania into a luxury tourist resort. The second is a luxury hotel development in the Serbian capital of Belgrade with 1,500 residential units and a museum at the vacant headquarters of the long-defunct Yugoslav Army, which was destroyed in 1999 by NATO bombs.

Both projects involve land controlled by the country’s respective governments, meaning both projects required approval by the governments, according to the Times report.

Yet another project, in Albania, would see Kushner develop several hotels and hundreds of villas on the Zvërnec peninsula, a 1,000-acre coastal area in the south of Albania. Kushner is involved in the projects through his investment firm, Affinity Partners, which boasts $2 billion in funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

“We are very excited,” Kushner told the Times. “We have not finalized these deals, so they might not happen, but we have been working hard and are pretty close.”

Kushner’s investment company was set up after he left his role with the White House. In the private sector, he was able to capitalize on new relationships with Middle Eastern leaders such as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who helped Kushner secure $2 billion from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Experts on good government told the Times that family members of a presidential candidate pursuing business deals with foreign powers raises red flags.

“At this point in the election cycle, Jared Kushner should freeze any new investment plans,” Robert Weissman, president of progressive think tank Public Citizen, told the outlet. “This particular investment plan seems to involve the worst of every corrupt tendency of the Trump administration and Trump family.”

However, Kushner has denied using connections from his time in the White House to benefit financially.

“No one is ‘giving’ me deals,” Kushner told the Times. “I operate fairly meticulously, and these investments will create a lot of value for the local communities, our partners and our investors.”

Kushner told the Times he has no interest in returning to Washington should Trump be elected president again.

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