Jared Kushner’s White House ‘SWAT Team’ Hired The Hollywood PR Executive Behind ‘The Purge’ Movies

News & Culture Writer
04.05.17 8 Comments

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As The Daily Show recently dubbed him, “President” Jared Kushner’s powers knows no bounds. The son-in-law of and senior advisor to actual-President Donald Trump, who recently embarked on a surprise trip to Iraq, keeps making millions of the Trump family brand while working his way up the ladder of power in the White House. What’s more, the young real-estate mogul and former publisher of the New York Observer also finds himself leading a so-called “SWAT team” in the hopes of improving the current administration’s political and public relations strategies.

As the Washington Post reported late last month, this team — officially titled The White House Office of American Innovation — “will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump.” To help get its message(s) across to the American voting public, Kushner tapped Blumhouse Productions public relations executive Josh Raffel to run the group’s communications:

Raffel, who has been with Blumhouse since 2015, will run communications for the White House Office of American Innovation, a new group charged with reforming the federal government using the private sector that will be run by Kushner. Raffel confirmed his new job to The Hollywood Reporter but declined to comment further.

If Blumhouse Productions sounds familiar, that’s because the company, formed by film and television producer Jason Blum, is responsible for a wealth of horror movies these days. Sure, Blum was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture thanks to Whiplash in 2014, but most theatergoers know him and his company for the Insidious, Sinister, Ouija, and The Purge series. (Plus, he’s also partnered up with the filmmakers behind Spotlight for an upcoming Roger Ailes miniseries, which is weird.)

For his part, Raffel has only been with Blumhouse since 2015, which means he played a role in marketing such cinematic offerings as Jem and the Holograms, Ouija: Origin of Evil, The Purge: Election Year, Split, and Get Out. So what does this mean, exactly? Basically, aside from Suicide Squad and The LEGO Batman Movie, courtesy of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the Trump White House now possesses an official connection to The Purge franchise. That’s fine.

(Via the Hollywood Reporter)

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