Secret Service: Agent who blocked reporter questioning Kushner reacted to ‘abrupt movement’

Secret Service: Agent who blocked reporter questioning Kushner reacted to ‘abrupt movement’
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The Secret Service said Wednesday that an agent who blocked a reporter attempting to question senior White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerCongress braces for high-drama lame duck Trump’s tough-love policy for China Don’t hold your breath for a ceasefire in Yemen MORE was reacting to "an abrupt movement."

"The actions of the special agent in this incident were in no way intended to impede those rights or the media’s access to a Secret Service protectee," the Secret Service said in a statement.

"The actions were taken solely in response to an abrupt movement by an unknown individual who later identified themselves as a member of the media," the agency added.


The Secret Service reviewed the Tuesday incident in which CBS News reporter Errol Barnett attempted to ask Kushner for comment on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as Kushner deplaned from a flight from Washington, D.C., to New York City.

Barnett posted video of the exchange, in which he identified himself as a reporter for CBS and asked for comment. A Secret Service agent accompanying Kushner then blocked Barnett's camera.

When Barnett showed his White House press credentials, the agent responded "I don't give a damn who you are. There's a time and a place."

Kushner, who reportedly has a close relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has largely remained out of the public eye in recent weeks amid investigations into what happened to Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and outspoken critic of Saudi leadership, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish officials are said to have audio that proves he was murdered and dismembered at the consulate.

Saudi leaders have said they do not know what happened to Khashoggi.

While U.S. lawmakers have vowed a response as it becomes increasingly apparent Khashoggi was killed, the Trump administration has been more cautious in its response.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to oust Nielsen as early as this week: report California wildfire becomes deadliest in state’s history Sinema’s Senate win cheered by LGBTQ groups MORE has expressed concern over the matter, but has repeatedly cited denials from Saudi leaderships and dismissed any suggestion of cancelling lucrative weapons deals between the two countries. On Tuesday, he was critical of those who have assigned blame in the case, likening it to the treatment of Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughScalise: Investigations into Trump by House Democrats could backfire Schumer’s headaches to multiply in next Congress Top Judiciary Dem: No plans to investigate or impeach Kavanaugh MORE when he faced allegations of sexual assault.