Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are renting a Washington, D.C., home from a Chilean billionaire whose company is embroiled in a dispute with the U.S. government over a proposed copper-and-nickel mine near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
The six-bedroom house was bought for $5.5 million in late December by a company controlled by Andrónico Luksic, the Journal said, citing public records and interviews. Luksic also controls the parent company of Twin Metals Minnesota, the company behind the mine.
In December, the Obama administration blocked a plan by Twin Metals to build the giant copper-and-nickel mine, citing the risk of “serious and irreplaceable harm to this unique, iconic and irreplaceable wilderness area.” The company and some Minnesota politicians, including Rep. Rick Nolan, are urging the Trump administration to reverse the decision.
Twin Metals sued the U.S. government in September over a preliminary move by the Interior Department to deny two key mineral leases for the mine.
A Luksic family spokesman told the Journal that the Luksic company bought the Washington house as an investment and that the rental to the couple, President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, was coincidental. He said the couple was paying “absolute market value” in rent, declining to disclose the amount.
A White House spokeswoman told the Journal that the family was paying “fair market value,” that the mining issue has never come up, and that the couple hasn’t met or spoken to the home’s owner. The pair weren’t aware of Luksic’s U.S. business interests at the time they agreed to rent the house, she said.
STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS