Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of former president Donald Trump and a senior adviser in his administration, has secured a book deal to recount Trump's presidency.
Broadside Books, a conservative imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announced that Kushner’s book will come out in early 2022. Kushner has begun working on the memoir, currently untitled, and is expected to write about everything from the Middle East to criminal justice reform to the pandemic. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The signing of the Kushner deal comes amid a debate in the book industry over which Trump officials, notably Trump himself, can be taken on without starting a revolt at the publishing house. Thousands of Simon & Schuster employees and authors signed an open letter this spring condemning the publisher's decision to sign up former vice-president Mike Pence.
Broadside said on Tuesday: “His book will be the definitive, thorough recounting of the administration, and the truth about what happened behind closed doors.”
He may find himself in competition with his father-in-law, who has insisted he is writing “the book of all books” – even though major figures in US publishing said on Tuesday that no big house is likely to touch a memoir by the 45th president.
Kushner played a role in building ties between Israel and United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco – the so-called Abraham Accords – and a criminal justice bill passed by Congress in 2018.
He has also been the subject of numerous controversies, whether for his financial dealings and potential conflicts of interest or for the administration’s widely criticised handling of Covid-19, which has killed more than 600,000 Americans – the highest toll of any country.
In April 2020, less than two months into the pandemic, Kushner labelled the White House response a "great success story", dismissed "the eternal lockdown crowd" and also said: "I think you'll see by June a lot of the country should be back to normal and the hope is that by July the country's really rocking again."
At a Simon & Schuster town hall in May, employees confronted chief executive Jonathan Karp over the Pence deal. Karp responded that he felt the company had a mission to hear opposing sides of political debates.
He also said he did not want to publish Trump – who issued his 2015 book Crippled America through the Simon & Schuster imprint Threshold Editions – because he didn't think the former president would provide an honest account of his time in office.
Trump issued a statement last week that he was “writing like crazy” and had turned down two offers “from the most unlikely of publishers”, a claim widely disputed within the industry. – Guardian