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Jared Kushner says Black people must ‘want to be successful’ for Trump’s policies to work

President Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner, President Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, does a television interview at the White House on Monday.
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Trump advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner said Monday that the president wanted to help Black people in America but that they had to “want to be successful” for his policies to work.

In comments that immediately drew condemnation for their “casual racism,” Kushner told “Fox & Friends” that his father-in-law had “policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about, but he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.”

Kushner also criticized prominent people who raised their voices after the death in police custody of George Floyd but then didn’t follow through and work to find ways to improve the lives of Black people in America.

“You saw a lot of people who were just virtue-signaling. They go on Instagram and cry, or they would, you know, put a slogan on their jersey or write something on a basketball court,” Kushner said. “Quite frankly, that was doing more to polarize the country than it was to bring people forward. You solve problems with solutions.”

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Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) accused Kushner of “casual racism.” Former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile wrote on Twitter: “He’s talking to folks who have suffered and endured systemic racism and historic tokenism.”

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Kushner, saying that “internet trolls” took his words out of context. She said they were trying to distract from Trump’s “undeniable record of accomplishment” for Black people.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner took in as much as $135 million in revenue during their second year as aides to President Trump, generated from their vast real estate holdings, stocks and bonds, and even a book deal, according to their financial disclosures released Friday.

Ja’Ron Smith, a deputy assistant to the president who works with Kushner as deputy director of the Office of American Innovation, also rose to Kushner’s defense. Smith, who is Black, tweeted a photo of himself with Kushner and Vice President Mike Pence.

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Smith said Kushner had been “a huge advocate” for the issues that affect Black America, and named criminal justice reform, opportunity zones, trade and jobs.

“I will always stand with you Brother!!!” Smith tweeted.

Trump, who has been trying to appeal to the Black community, has been promoting his attempts to set up economic opportunity zones, provide steady funding for historically Black colleges and universities, and institute criminal justice reforms.


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