On CNN, New York Observer Editor Denies That They Endorsed Trump Because Of Family Ties

Observer Publisher Is Trump's Son-In-Law

From the April 13 edition of CNN's At This Hour with Berman and Bolduan:

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KATE BOLDUAN (CO-HOST): So the first line of this editorial endorsing Donald Trump, it says this, “Donald Trump is the father-in-law of the Observer’s publisher. That is not a reason to endorse him. Giving millions of disillusioned Americans a renewed sense of purpose and opportunity is.” Maybe not a reason, but was it ever in question?

KEN KURSON: I like how you read that in iambic pentameter, I really appreciate you molesting the words like that. 

BOLDUAN: Molesting the words?

KURSON: You know, I don't know that it wasn't ever in question, and, I mean, when there were 17 candidates and nobody thought Donald Trump would make it even to 2016, let alone to April as the front-runner, I didn't contemplate this way back. I went to his announcement speech, I think it was early July at Trump Towers and I remember standing with somebody, some other members of the media from AP Radio and someone else from The Observer going, I don't think this one's going to be a problem. We didn't think he would stick around this long. But he has and he's done well. And our editorial board made the decision to endorse him. 

JOHN BERMAN (CO-HOST): Did you meet with other candidates? Did you sit down with Ted Cruz and John Kasich? We're talking about the New York Daily News, which had both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and often papers do. Did you?

KURSON: You know, in this instance, when we've endorsed for mayors, like we endorsed Bill de Blasio in 2013, we sat down with all of the, I think all of the Democrats, -- yeah and the Republicans as well before making the decision. In this instance, you describe this as his first major endorsement. The Observer is a relatively small paper compared to some of the others.

BERMAN: Just helping you out here. 

KURSON: Yeah, I don't know that we would have had the access to any of the candidates. We didn't sit down with Mr. Trump either. But I did go to a substantive Cruz event, I've known Ted Cruz for a couple of years. We didn't get a chance to talk to John Kasich, but this was made based on their, what we've seen the electorate hungering for more than the candidates' platforms are. 

BERMAN: No family involvement at all? It's just hard for people, people look at this and say, the son-in-law owns the paper, you know, it'd be shocking if they endorsed someone else. 

KURSON: No, of course. Jared is Donald Trump's son-in-law, it's just a fact, and Jared's a member of our editorial board. He's one of the six of us and, you know, on some issues it's more equal than others. There are members who are more into the environment or more into historical preservation. Jared and I in particular care about politics, so, you know, we debated this like we'd debate any other, but this was a pretty clear choice for us. 

BOLDUAN: You were involved in the writing of his AIPAC speech that he gave in Washington. How involved were you?

KURSON: Almost none. There was a draft that came to me. AIPAC and Israel affairs is something I know about and care about. I looked it over, said “this looks really good,” and that was it. You know, I had no idea the furor it would cause two, three weeks later when New York magazine reported that I had looked at it. But it was no big deal. 


Trump's Two Publication Endorsements: The National Enquirer And His Son-In-Law’s Newspaper