Kushner shielded from reporter on plane trying to ask about Khashoggi
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Kushner shielded from reporter on plane trying to ask about Khashoggi

Bodyguard tells CBS journalist there’s ‘time and a place’ for questions and ‘I don’t give a damn who you are’; Secret Service says it is reviewing the incident

Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, attends a Cabinet meeting at the White House on August 16, 2018. (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)
Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, attends a Cabinet meeting at the White House on August 16, 2018. (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)

CBS News says a Secret Service agent blocked one of its correspondents from asking Jared Kushner a question when he was walking out of an airplane, saying there was a “time and a place” for such interactions.

A network spokeswoman said Wednesday that reporter Errol Barnett happened to be on the same Washington to New York flight as the presidential son-in-law. CBS said he showed a press credential and attempted to ask a question about Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.

A short video posted online showed what appeared to be an agent saying, “I don’t give a damn who you are.”

The Secret Service said it was reviewing the incident and that appropriate action would be taken depending on what its investigation shows.

“I waited until everyone in front of me had deplaned and as Jared Kushner approached and the Secret Service were lining the aisle, I took out my camera. I had my CBS press pass on, I had my White House press pass as well which, as you all know, this is vetted by the Secret Service. So if the Secret Service sees this, they know you’re legit.” Barnett told his outlet.

Jared Kushner alongside a member of the Saudi delegation at a White House meeting between President Donald Trump and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, March 20, 2018. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images via JTA)

“The camera was rolling and the Secret Service agent kind of ran interference, put his hand over my phone, over the camera.”

Kushner is thought to have cultivated a close relationship with Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

He has given few interviews or public statements and has avoided the press on other occasions.

Saudi Arabia, a key US ally in the Mideast, is under pressure to explain what happened to Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor living in the US who had been critical of the crown prince. Turkish officials have said he was murdered, and the Turkish newspaper’s report said an audio recording revealed gory details about Khashoggi’s demise inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

US President Donald Trump has repeated denials by the Saudi king and crown prince that they knew anything about Khashoggi’s fate, and he has warned of a rush to judgment.

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