Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, was secretly trying to sell his struggling publication, the New York Observer, to two die-hard Hillary Clinton supporters soon after the presidential election, BuzzFeed reported Friday.
According to the article, Kushner and Joseph Meyer, Observer Media’s chair, were looking to offload the paper to Clinton mega donor Haim Saban and David Brock, the founder of the progressive media watchdog, Media Matters.
Saban confirmed to TheWrap late Friday that Kushner offered to sell him the Observer. (He initially told TheWrap no when asked if Kushner had offered him the paper.)
Brock didn’t immediately responded to TheWrap’s request for comment. But, according to BuzzFeed, Kushner had initially hoped to sell the paper to American Media, the parent company of the National Enquirer and a decidedly pro-Trump publication. But two sources told BuzzFeed that Kushner and Meyer found “more attractive suitors in Hillaryland.”
According to the article, Observer Media executives had discussions with Saban and Brock just days after the election. A source told the publication that Kushner did not initiate the contact and “largely recused himself after an initial discussion,” though, according to BuzzFeed, Kushner had no issues with selling his paper to Trump’s “sworn enemies.”
The then editor-in-chief of the Observer, Ken Kurson, confirmed to BuzzFeed that he and Meyer talked to Saban on the phone in late 2016. BuzzFeed went on to say that Kurson also met with Brock in January 2017 to discuss the sale.
Brock, a former conservative star, was the author of a scathing Hillary Clinton biography before switching sides and becoming a key fundraiser and strategist for the Democratic Party. He founded Media Matters in 2004 in an effort to combat the conservative eco-system he was once a part of.
Saban, an Israeli-American media mogul and owner of Univision, was known as an ardent supporter of Clinton’s 2016 failed presidential bid. Saban was also a critic of Kushner’s father-in-law.
According to BuzzFeed, Brock and Saban were clear about what they intended to do with the paper. Brock had already publicly stated that he wanted to turn one of his progressive sites into “the Breitbart of the left.” A source told BuzzFeed that Saban was “interested in having a presence in Washington.”
But according to BuzzFeed, the talks eventually hit a wall over money.
A source familiar with the discussions told BuzzFeed that Kushner had demanded $20 million for the paper — double what he paid for it exactly a decade earlier.
The White House did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.