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CBS Reporter Responds to New Secret Service Statement on Agent Who Blocked Him from Asking Jared a Question

On Wednesday, the reporter who was blocked from trying to ask a question to Jared Kushner spoke out on CNN.

Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper, CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett  said this about what happened:

Well, Jake, this seemed to me much ado about nothing, initially. I’m boarding a plane from Washington, D.C., to New York, a flight I take regularly. I saw that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were the final two people to board this flight, surrounded by Secret Service agents and in communicating with my bureau, CBS, in Washington, D.C., it was simply agreed that, look, there are burning questions we have for this administration on its response to Saudi denials that the Saudi royal family had nothing to do with the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, so this was an opportunity to ask Jared Kushner, who is key in the Trump Administration’s thinking and relationship with the Saudi royal family, how he responds to the denials. That was the purpose. And as I got this question out, wearing my CBS lanyard and White House press badge, which as you know you have to be vetted by the Secret Service in order to obtain one, I thought it an opportunity for an adviser to the president to speak about the administration’s response. We do know that he had a phone conversation with the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, last week, so it’s a burning question at an important time, and the Secret Service intervened and you see what happened there in the video.

On Tuesday, posted video of the incident on Twitter  where he said “Jared Kushner did not answer my question and the secret service informs me, while obscuring my phone, that despite identifying as WH press, there is a ‘time and a place’ for questions.”

The Secret Service has since said that they were reacting to an “abrupt movement by an unknown individual who later identified themselves as a member of the media.”

Responding to the Secret Service’s statement, Barnett said this: “Well, Secret Service agents are, as other police officers, trained to respond on instinct and immediately and so in conversations that I’ve had with the Secret Service since and the statement that they put on the record which we’re allowed to share, they say that the offer responded to a movement, an abrupt movement, they say, by an unknown individual who later identified themselves as a member of the media. Now, you can see in the video, the very first thing I say is who I am and who I’m with, and I’m wearing the name of my channel around my neck, so you can make what you think of that statement, but from the Secret Service perspective, they don’t think this officer did anything wrong.”

He added that he has reached out to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders for an interview and she said she would let him know if the opportunity presents itself.

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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