The Slatest

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

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump smiling, dressed up for an event on the South Lawn
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at the White House on Sept. 15. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are threatening to sue the Lincoln Project over billboards that the group placed in Times Square that directly attack the White House advisers over the way President Donald Trump’s administration has responded to the coronavirus. A lawyer for the president’s daughter and son-in-law sent a letter threatening legal action if the anti-Trump group did not remove the billboards, which it characterized as “false, malicious, and defamatory.” The group of anti-Trump Republicans was defiant and insisted the billboards will stay up.

One of the billboards that seems to have raised the ire of the presidential family shows an edited photo of Ivanka Trump smiling and gesturing toward figures that detail how more than 33,000 New Yorkers and 221,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus. The photo appears to be an edited version of a photo Ivanka Trump posted on social media promoting Goya black beans. The other billboard features a photo of Kushner next to a quote that an anonymous source attributed to the president’s son-in-law in a September Vanity Fair article. The piece claimed that at a meeting on March 20 Kushner was complaining about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo right as the pandemic was accelerating and said: “His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem.”

Marc Kasowitz, a lawyer who has represented Donald Trump in numerous cases, took objection to both billboards. “Of course, Mr. Kushner never made any such statement, Ms. Trump never made any such gesture, and the Lincoln Project’s representation that they did are an outrageous and shameful libel,” reads the letter signed by Kasowitz. “If these billboard ads are not immediately removed, we will sue you for what will doubtless be enormous compensatory and punitive damages.”

The Lincoln Project first posted the letter on Twitter and simply wrote: “Nuts!” It then followed up with a combative statement that said the “level of indignant outrage” over the billboards was “comical” and characterized the president’s daughter and son-in-law as “entitled, out-of-touch bullies who have never given the slightest indication they have any regard for the American people.” The group added that “their empty threats will not be taken any more seriously than we take Ivanka and Jared.” The Lincoln Project said it is important for people to be “continuously reminded of the cruelty, audacity, and staggering lack of empathy the Trumps and the Kushners have displayed towards the American people.”