Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior advisor of former United States President Donald Trump, reveals in a new memoir his dealing with cancer during his tenure in the White House.
Kushner, 41, was diagnosed in Oct. 2019 at an early stage of the disease, and had a “substantial part” of his thyroid removed in an operation that could have caused long-term damage to his voice.
At first, Kushner asked his doctors not to tell anyone about his condition, not even his wife Ivanka or her father, according to a New York Times report citing an excerpt of Kushner’s upcoming book.
In “Breaking History: A White House Memoir,״ Kushner described how White House physician Sean Conley gave him the diagnosis on Air Force One during a trip to Texas.
“‘Your test results came back from Walter Reed,’ he said. ‘It looks like you have cancer. We need to schedule a surgery right away,’” Kushner wrote.
Eventually, Kushner told his wife, two of his aides and former acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. For a while, he managed to keep the secret from Trump.
“That way, I would miss the least amount of time in the office. My absence might even go unnoticed. That’s how I wanted it,” he explained.
Kushner tried to distract himself from the illness by focusing on his work, which included discussions over a trade deal with China and attempts to bolster ties between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Later, he became one of the architects of the historic Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
“I reminded myself that it was in the hands of God and the doctors, and that whatever happened was out of my control,” Kushner recalled. “At moments, I caught myself wondering whether I would need extensive treatment.”
The day before he was to undergo the surgery, Kushner’s father-in-law summoned him to the Oval Office. Trump, whom Kushner had never notified about the disease, asked if he was nervous about the procedure.
When Kushner asked how he knew about it, Trump replied: “I’m the president.”
“I understand that you want to keep these things quiet. I like to keep things like this to myself, as well. You’ll be just fine,” Trump said.
Kushner’s memoir is set to be released Aug. 23.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.