Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Threaten to Sue Lincoln Project over Times Square Billboards

POLITICS & POLICY
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner at the White House in March. (Reuters photo: Jim Bourg)

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump threatened to sue the Lincoln Project over billboards the anti-Trump Republican PAC put up in Times Square criticizing the couple’s response to the coronavirus. 

In a letter, Trump family lawyer Marc Kasowitz rebuked the group for putting up a billboard of Ivanka Trump smiling and gesturing toward the coronavirus death tolls for New Yorkers and Americans — 33,000 and 221,000, respectively. The letter also mentioned a billboard of Kushner, featured next to the Trump display, in which he appears next to a quote saying, “[New Yorkers] are going to suffer and that’s their problem.” 

The quote comes from a September 17 Vanity Fair article. The full quote read, “Cuomo didn’t pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state. . . . His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem.”

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The magazine, however, obtained the quote from an anonymous attendee of an alleged March 21 White House meeting between Kushner and a private-sector group that had been lobbying the federal government to take control of directing PPE nationwide.

The image of Trump appears to have been taken from a photo she shared of herself holding a can of Goya black beans on Twitter in July.

In a tweet on Friday, the Lincoln Project shared the letter, in which Kasowitz threatens to sue the group unless it “immediately” removes the ads, saying the billboards are “false, malicious, and defamatory.”

“Of course, Mr. Kushner never made any such statement, Ms. Trump never made any such gesture, and the Lincoln Project’s representations that they did are an outrageous and shameful libel,” Kasowitz wrote.

“If these billboard ads are not immediately removed, we will sue you for what will doubtless be enormous compensatory and punitive damages,” he added.

The Lincoln Project said in a statement that it would not take down the billboards, defending the ads as an accurate depiction of the couple’s “indifference” toward the pandemic. 

“The level of indignant outrage Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have shown towards The Lincoln Project for exposing their indifference for the more than 223,000 people who have lost their lives due to their reckless mismanagement of COVID-19 is comical,” the group said in a statement. “While we truly enjoy living rent free in their heads, their empty threats will not be taken any more seriously than we take Ivanka and Jared.”

The statement continued: “It is unsurprising that an administration that has never had any regard or understanding of our Constitution would try to trample on our first amendment rights but we fully intend on making this civics lesson as painful as possible.”

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