Reed Cordish set to join Trump Administration: Sources

Questions remain whether Jared Kushner will join the incoming Trump Administration in a formal White House role. While lawyers are left to address anti-nepotism law questions, Kushner is busying himself with helping close friends line up West Wing positions.

One such friend is Reed Cordish, Vice President of The Cordish Companies — his family’s Baltimore-based real estate group, who is expected to serve as Assistant to the President, according to sources familiar with the transition.

Reed is the son of David Cordish, CEO and Chairman of Cordish Companies, a multibillion-dollar privately held conglomerate known for developing casinos and urban properties throughout the country.

Trump and David Cordish first crossed paths when Trump sued Cordish Co. in a dispute over a Florida casino project. The judge in the case pushed for mediation. Trump and Cordish met in-person, settled matters, and in the process became friends. 

David Cordish also serves as a member of AIPAC’s National Board. This is notable, as some around the Trump campaign — particularly Jared Kushner himself — were upset over AIPAC President Lillian Pinkus’s apology at the organization’s Policy Conference last year, after some AIPAC delegates cheered when Trump attacked President Obama calling him “the worst thing ever to happen to Israel. Believe me, believe me.”

A week after Trump launched his campaign for the Republican nomination, Cordish convinced his friend to keynote the Maryland GOP’s Annual Dinner, held at a Marriott near BWI Airport. “I walk in and I fell in love in about two minutes,” Trump said about his first ‘mediation’ meeting with Cordish. “We worked out our problems in… 11 seconds, and we’ve just been friends ever since.”

In introducing Trump, David Cordish recalled how he once asked Ivanka if she had a twin sister who could date his youngest son, Reed. Instead, Ivanka set the junior Cordish up with one of her best friends from college, Margaret Katz. The couple married in 2010 in the backyard of what was to be their future Baltimore home, with Jared and Ivanka in attendance.

“When Reed and Maggie got together, the funny story is,” Trump told the Maryland crowd, “they had a lunch, and I said, ‘How did their lunch go?’ And Ivanka said, ‘I don’t know. It lasted about 7 hours.’ I said, ‘That’s a good sign.’ It was a lunch that never stopped.”

In 2010, David Cordish hosted Vice President Joe Biden at his Baltimore home for a fundraiser supporting the Democratic National Committee. Cordish also hosted then Vice President Dick Cheney for a fundraiser in 2004. Reed and his wife, Maggie, were listed as co-hosts of a Trump/Pence fundraiser last October. 

Over the past year, several magazine stories profiling Jared Kushner quoted Reed Cordish in the role as ‘close friend of Jared.’ In Vanity Fair last summer, Cordish described Kushner as “brilliant” and “a hard worker,” with “a unique mind.” Jared has “found it very important to be reachable and accessible,” Cordish told the New Yorker.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at Reed Cordish's wedding - via QUEST Magazine

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at Reed Cordish’s wedding – via QUEST Magazine

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