Saudi officials offered Super Bowl tickets to CNN’s Tapper, Fox News’s Bret Baier

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Saudi officials once offered Super Bowl tickets to a pair of prominent broadcasters as part of an effort to cultivate influence in the United States capital. 

The Washington Post reported on Sunday that Saudi officials offered CNN’s Jake Tapper and Fox News’s Bret Baier Super Bowl tickets and chartered flights to the event earlier this year. 

{mosads}Tapper offered a detailed account of the offer earlier this month on Twitter, writing that he “was contacted by the Saudi Embassy and asked if I wanted to fly to/from Minnesota for the game with them and attend as their guest.”

“I of course said NO. Ive never accepted anything like that. But I wondered: who said yes?” Tapper tweeted, adding that “those kinds of favors are also part of the corruption in DC — the railed-against swamp — that really stinks. And has in many ways helped to prop up the transactional US/Saudi alliance — despite 9/11, human rights abuses, crimes against Yemen etc.”

A spokesperson from Fox News told the Post that Baier also rejected the offer. 

The anecdotes came as part of a wide-ranging Post report into Saudi Arabia’s attempts to court influence in Washington. Among other things, the report details the kingdom’s efforts to court reporters and think tank analysts. 

It comes as Saudi Arabia becomes the subject of widespread scrutiny after it was revealed that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. 

After initially denying involvement, Saudi officials on Friday announced that Khashoggi, a journalist critical of the country’s leadership, had died in a physical altercation while inside the consulate.

U.S. lawmakers have voiced skepticism about the narrative regarding Khashoggi’s death, with many expressing concern that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may be behind the killing.

“If he’s gone forth and murdered this journalist, he’s now crossed the line. And there has to be a punishment and a price paid for that,” Sen Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that he will announce findings of Turkey’s investigation into the death on Tuesday.

Tags Bob Corker journalist death Saudi Arabia Super Bowl Turkey

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