After winning a primary election that effectively clinched the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump paused to laud a boyish-looking 35-year-old who ultimately proved to be an indispensable figure on the path to the White House.
"Honestly, Jared is a very successful real estate person. But I actually think he likes politics more than he likes real estate," Trump said of his son-in-law Jared Kushner, standing to his right during a victory speech after the Indiana party primary election in May. "But he's very good at politics."
Kushner, the slender, clean-cut New Jersey real estate scion who married Trump's daughter Ivanka in 2009, helped guide the Republican Trump to victory last week over Democrat Hillary Clinton and is poised to remain an influential adviser during his presidency.
Kushner emerged as an important voice early in Trump's campaign, launched in June 2015. He was involved in almost every aspect of Trump's campaign, offering advice on key personnel decisions, strategy, speeches, fundraising and other areas.
Late in the campaign, he began laying the groundwork for a possible Trump-run television network, in the event his father-in-law lost, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Kushner spearheads his family's real estate development company, Kushner Companies, and is the publisher of the New York Observer weekly newspaper, which he acquired at age 25.
While a federal anti-nepotism law prohibits a president from hiring family members to serve in his administration, Kushner is set to remain a key insider and trusted confidant.
Trump said on Wednesday he was not trying to get security clearance for his children, which would allow them access to classified government information.
"I am not trying to get 'top level security clearance' for my children. This was a typically false news story," the New York real estate magnate said in a Twitter post.
Trump was referring to media reports on Monday that he was seeking security clearance for three of his children and his son-in-law.
Such clearance would allow Trump to discuss matters of national security with his daughter, Ivanka, sons Eric and Donald Jr. and son-in-law Kushner. Federal law prohibits him from hiring family members to serve in his administration, but all four played key advisory roles through the campaign.
Trump has insisted that to avoid conflicts of interest, his children would run his sprawling business operations once he assumed the presidency.
Reince Priebus, appointed Trump's White House chief of staff on Sunday, told NBC's "Today" show on Monday that Kushner "obviously" will be very involved in decision-making. Kushner serves on Trump's transition executive committee.