Members of Jared Kushner’s Secret Service detail physically prevented a CBS News reporter from asking a question of our special boy, with one agent telling the reporter he didn’t “give a damn who you are” when he ran into him on a flight Tuesday evening.
In video of the incident which the reporter, Errol Barnett, posted on Twitter, you can hear Barnett start to ask a question of Kushner after first identifying himself as a journalist with CBS before officers block him from filming the interaction further. Barnett can also be seen showing the Secret Service official his press credentials, to which the officer responds: “I don’t give a damn who you are, there’s a time and a place.”
The Secret Service said in a statement to CBS News that the “circumstances surrounding the incident are under review.”
“Pending receipt of additional facts, details and full circumstances surrounding the incident, appropriate action will be taken if necessary,” the agency added.
But as Barnett said himself, the “time and place” for reporters to ask questions appears to be almost never. Kushner rarely (if ever) takes questions from the press, and the Trump administration as a whole has refused access for the White House press corps. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is known for her outright hostility toward reporters during her brief, increasingly rare on-camera briefings.
And as Politico’s Michael Calderone pointed on Twitter, this is far from the first time Secret Service agents have taken it upon themselves to prevent reporters from, you know, doing their jobs.
Kushner, perhaps now more than ever, has plenty of reason to duck reporters. In addition to recent reporting that he’s a grade-A tax dodger of epic proportions, he’s credited with championing even tighter bonds between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia—a relationship that politicos of all stripes have been forced to distance themselves from after the apparent murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Kushner is personal friends with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the supposed reformer, and he’s made it clear—behind closed doors—that he’s not going to let all those sweet weapons contracts go so easily.