MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria’s negotiations to sell the team to the Kushner family have come to a grinding halt after reports surfaced that he may be nominated by President Donald Trump for an ambassador position.
Joshua Kushner, whose older brother Jared is married to Ivanka Trump, has a preliminary agreement to buy the Marlins. But in a statement released late Wednesday by Kushner’s brother-in-law, Joseph Meyer, the family expressed concern the sale might “complicate” the ambassadorship appointment.
“Although the Kushners have made substantial progress in discussions for us to purchase the Marlins, recent reports suggest that Mr. Loria will soon be nominated by the president to be ambassador to France,” the statement said. “If that is true, we do not want this unrelated transaction to complicate that process and will not pursue it. The Kushners remain interested in purchasing a team and would love to buy the Marlins at another time.”
The statement from the Kushner was the first public confirmation of their negotiations with Loria. The Marlins haven’t commented. Team president David Samson said he would speak Friday about the status of sale negotiations.
Other parties are also interested in buying the Marlins, and Loria might reopen negotiations with them.
The New York Post reported Wednesday that Loria is likely to be the next French ambassador. The report named him as one of four people selected by White House chief of staff Reince Priebus for top diplomatic posts.
Loria is a longtime major contributor to the Republican National Committee, which Priebus led until taking the job with Trump. Fundraising records show Loria gave $125,000 last fall jointly to the Trump campaign and RNC.
It has long been a presidential tradition to reward generous political donors with plum ambassadorships.
Joshua Kushner, 31, is a New York City businessman and investor.
Jared Kushner, who is an adviser to the president, is not believed to part of the recent effort to the buy team. Neither is the Kushners’ father, Charles, who ran the family real estate firm until he went to prison for tax evasion, making illegal campaign contributions and witness intimidation.
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