Jared Kushner, the 35-year-old son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump, insisted in a Forbes magazine interview posted online on Tuesday that hate will hold no sway in the Trump White House.
Donald Trump was never been a bigot, never an anti-Semite, insisted Kushner, who is an Orthodox Jew and is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
“You can’t not be a racist for 69 years, then all of a sudden become a racist, right?” Kushner told Forbes. “You can’t not be an anti-Semite for 69 years and all of a sudden become an anti-Semite because you’re running.”
Kushner also addressed concerns expressed about President-elect Trump’s choice of Steve Bannon, the former editor of Breitbart News, as chief presidential strategist. Bannon has acknowledged that Breitbart News became a platform of the so-called alt-right movement. Although the movement has attracted anti-Semites, racists and other white nationalists, Bannon has insisted that Breitbart is not anti-Semitic, telling the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Friday that it is “the most pro-Israel site in the United States. “These claims of anti-Semitism just aren’t serious. It’s a joke,” Bannon said.
And for his part, Kushner told Forbes: “All I know about Steve is my experience working with him. He’s an incredible Zionist and loves Israel. He was one of the leaders in the anti-divestiture campaign,” a reference to countering the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement directed at Israel. “And what I’ve seen from working together with him was somebody who did not fit the description that people are pushing on him. I choose to judge him based on my experience and seeing the job he’s done, as opposed to what other people are saying about him.”
Asked about right-wing extremists who have embraced Trump, Kushner retorted: “Trump has disavowed their support 25 times. He’s renounced hatred, he’s renounced bigotry, and he’s renounced racism. I don’t know if he could ever denounce them enough for some people.”
Paraphrasing a quote that he attributed to the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Kushner told his Forbes interviewer: “Just because they support me doesn’t mean that I support them.”