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Who Is Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s New Senior White House Advisor?

He's married to Trump's favourite daughter.

10/01/2017 12:21 GMT | Updated 10/01/2017 13:06 GMT

President-elect Donald Trump has named Jared Kushner as a White House senior advisor.

His decision to hire his son-in-law has seen some legal experts question whether the move can be challenged, given a 1967 federal law meant to bar government officials from hiring relatives.

Kushner’s lawyer has argued the law does not apply in the West Wing and Trump himself is relying on legal precedents that allow the president to appoint White House staff “without regard to any other provision of law” in employment.

So what else do we know about the Harvard-educated 36-year-old?

  • He’s married to Ivanka Trump
    Evan Agostini/AP
    He tied the knot with Trump’s eldest daughter in 2009 and the couple had their third child in March 2016.  

    Kushner was brought up in the Modern Orthodox tradition and his parents had hoped he would marry a Jewish woman. According to The New Yorker, in 2008 Kushner broke up with Ivanka three years into the relationship because of “the religious thing”.

    The couple were reconciled after being invited for a weekend away on board Wendi Deng and her then-husband Rupert Murdoch’s yacht.

    Ivanka converted to Judaism and the children are being brought up in the faith.
  • He has publicly defended Trump against accusations of anti-Semitism
    Huffington Post
    In February, Trump tweeted a blatantly anti-Semitic image featuring a picture of Hillary Clinton pasted over a backdrop of $100 bills with a six-pointed star - the Jewish Star of David - next to her face. 

    "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!" the star read. 

    Later, in a blog for the Observer
    , Jewish-born Kushner stated he is the grandson of Holocaust survivors and described his father-in-law as “an incredibly loving and tolerant person.” 

    He added: “The from-the-heart reactions of this man are instinctively pro-Jewish and pro-Israel.

    "Just last week... an audience member asked about wasting money on 'Zionist Israel'. My father-in-law didn't miss a beat in replying that 'Israel is a very important ally of the United States and we are going to protect them 100 per cent. No script, no handlers, no Teleprompter - just a strong opinion from the heart."
  • He’ll be working for free
    Charles Eshelman via Getty Images
    Kushner, who will resign as CEO of his family’s real estate company and as publisher of the New York Observer, will not be taking a salary in his White House role.

    According to the website, Kushner owns or manages 20,000 apartments, 12 million square feet of office space and industrial properties.

    Transition officials say Kushner will divest his shares of the skyscraper, 666 Fifth Avenue, by selling them at market rate into a trust run by his mother.
  • He’s already a powerful figure in the transition team
    DON EMMERT via Getty Images
    Since the election he has been one of the transition team’s main liaisons to foreign governments, communicating with Israeli officials and meeting on Sunday with Boris Johnson, alongside controversial senior advisor Steve Bannon (pictured left).  

    Kushner and Bannon have also been working closely on issues related to Israel, including discussions over moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem – a move which could inflame tensions in the Middle East.  

    He has acted as a liaison with dozens of influential figures including Henry Kissinger, Paul Ryan and Rupert Murdoch.

    He’s also huddled with congressional leaders and helped interview Cabinet candidates.
  • He believes revenge is a dish best served cold…
    Drew Angerer via Getty Images
    Chris Christie was widely reported as being considered for the role of Trump’s vice president running mate before Kushner began pushing for the selection of Gov Mike Pence instead.

    Christie was later named head of the transition team, only to be dropped and replaced with Pence.

    It’s believed Christie’s abrupt departure from the team is the result of a feud with Kushner.

    Back in 2004, Christie, then a federal prosecutor, prosecuted Kushner’s father Charles, who was convicted and jailed on charges of tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign contributions.  

    NBC described the moves as being part of a “Stalinesque purge” of anyone close to Christie.