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After Conflict-Of-Interest Flap, No China Meetings For Kushner Companies This Weekend

Chinese staff wait for investors at a reception desk during an event promoting a Kushner Companies development in Shanghai on Sunday. Nicole Kushner Meyer, sister of Jared Kushner, has canceled an upcoming presentation that had been scheduled for Saturday in Shenzhen.

Just days after her comments to Chinese investors set conflict-of-interest questions swirling, Jared Kushner's sister will not be holding a similar presentation that had been scheduled for Saturday. Nicole Kushner Meyer, who has been in China courting investors interested in the family firm's stateside real estate development, had drawn significant criticism for mentioning her family's White House connections in a pitch last weekend.

As NPR's Rob Schmitz reports, Meyer had been scheduled to deliver a presentation in the southern city of Shenzhen, seeking to sell Chinese investors on the EB-5 visa — a controversial federal program that offers a path to permanent residence for investors who create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

But The Washington Post reports that now there will be no meetings for Kushner Companies in China this weekend, citing a company spokeswoman.

Earlier this week, NPR's Marilyn Geewax and Jackie Northam laid out the incident that first set off the criticism:

"The controversy began when reporters from The Washington Post and The New York Times sat in on a publicly advertised event at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Beijing on Saturday.

"Before being asked to leave, reporters heard Jared Kushner's sister Nicole Meyer tell Chinese investors that they could participate in a New Jersey real estate project that 'means a lot to me and my entire family.'

"Meyer noted that if investors put at least $500,000 into the Kushner-family backed project, they could qualify for an EB-5 visa. ...

"And the pitch came with a sweetener: Meyer talked about the Kushner family, including her brother who holds a powerful position in the White House as senior adviser to President Trump."

Critics saw the comments as an abuse of the Meyer's relationship with Kushner — and, in turn, with Kushner's father-in-law, President Trump.

Rob notes that Meyer later apologized for mentioning her brother at the event.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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