Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann's friendly relationship with Jared Kushner reportedly led to meeting Trump and a White House visit

Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann. Michael Kovac / Getty Images for WeWork
Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann's friendly relationship with Jared Kushner led him to a visit to the White House and ultimately to a meeting with President Donald Trump in 2018.
The relationship is recorded in the new book "Billion Dollar Loser," which follows the rise and fall of Neumann and WeWork.
According to the book, Neumann and Kushner met as young real estate moguls in New York City. After Trump's victory in 2016, Neumann Kushner quietly visited the White House and chose not to talk about Trump's travel ban.
Neumann also adopted some of Trump's traits, adopting the term "false news" and holding rally-like corporate meetings.
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Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann's friendly relationship with Jared Kushner led him to a visit to the White House and ultimately to a meeting with President Donald Trump in 2018.
This emerges from Reeves Wiedeman's new book "Billion Dollar Loser," which chronicles the rapid rise of WeWork, as well as the scandals and other problems that hit Neumann and the company over the past year.
Wiedeman reported on the relationship between Neumann and Kushner, who met as two aspiring real estate moguls in New York City and bonded over their shared religious beliefs. WeWork rented space in several Kushner-owned buildings in New York, and Neumann and his wife Rebekah were kind enough with Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump to have dinner at a New York restaurant after Trump's 2016 win, Wiedeman reported.
Read more: 20% of New York's WeWork space is empty. Here you can see important vacancies that the city's largest office tenant is trying to fill.
In 2017 Neumann was invited to the White House, an invitation from the WeWork public affairs team asked him to decline. At the same time, the Trump administration had just announced its travel ban, and WeWork insiders urged Neumann to oppose the decision, especially since he was an immigrant himself. However, according to Wiedeman, Neumann decided to quietly visit the White House anyway and not speak publicly about the travel ban so WeWork would not feel compelled to take a stand on future issues.
After Trump's victory, WeWork staff noticed that Neumann was adopting some of the president's behaviors, Wiedeman reported. Similar to Trump rallies, WeWork executives would exaggerate the crowd at corporate events before Neumann took the stage. And like Trump, Neumann is said to have used the term "false news" when people criticized WeWork, according to Wiedeman.
In August 2018, Neumann's connection with Trump closed when they met in person: The Neumanns, Kushner, and Ivanka Trump were having dinner on the Trump golf course in New Jersey when the president passed their table, Wiedeman reported.
A Neumann spokesman did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
Neumann was CEO of WeWork from the company's founding in 2010 until the end of 2019, when he stepped down from the position and from the company's board of directors as part of a buyout deal with SoftBank. Neumann's departure came after WeWork was shaken by controversy after filing its filing for an IPO. The filing resulted in a staggering loss of over $ 1.6 billion.
Read more: WeWork received $ 1.1 billion in new funding from SoftBank as the coworking giant's membership declined
The revelations prompted WeWork to postpone its IPO, shut down the WeGrow education branch, and attempt to sell some of the companies it had previously acquired.
Soon after, the spotlight moved to Neumann, who appeared to be embroiled in web credit and conflicts of interest, including the family's involvement in WeWork's business. A Wall Street Journal exposé reported that Neumann had created a hard party culture at WeWork that included drugs and alcohol, and that he and his wife Rebekah, who also worked on WeWork, were known for their cutthroat management styles.
As of last year, WeWork hired a new CEO who took over a new round of funding from SoftBank and expects profitability in 2021.
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