Jared Kushner reportedly praised disgraced New Jersey official David Wildstein as “badass” for engineering the controversial closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge — a scandal that has led to three criminal convictions and tarnished the once-promising career of Gov. Chris Christie.
The Jewish son-in-law of Donald Trump told Wildstein that he wished him the best after he was forced to resign from a Port Authority post as the scandal spread in 2013, the Washington Post reported.
“For what it’s worth, I thought the move you pulled was kind of badass,” Kushner wrote in an email.
The Post reported that Kushner drew a parallel between Wildstein’s ouster and the ouster of Kusher’s father Charles from the group’s board under a cloud of controversy related to illicit campaign contribution.
“Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and wishing the best,” Kushner added.
A Kushner spokesman called the email a poorly worded way of expressing sympathy for a friend.
Wildstein wound up cooperating with prosecutors and testifying against two Christie aides, who were convicted of implementing the scheme as a way of punishing a Christie political opponent.
Christie himself has never been charged, even though Wildstein testified that he knew about the plan that caused traffic chaos.
Dave Goldiner is the Forward’s director of digital media. Dave is a veteran journalist who has spent two decades working at newspapers in the United States and Africa. A native New Yorker, Goldiner wrote for the New York Daily News, where he covered some of the biggest stories of our time, including the attacks of September 11, along with thousands of stories of hope and heartbreak. He also studied and worked in Southern Africa and has written for publications in South Africa and Zimbabwe. He holds masters degrees in journalism and public administration from Columbia University. Dave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @davegoldiner