In a recent encounter with a reporter, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner proved how awkward his relationship with the media really is.
Shortly before The New Yorker published its famous interview with Anthony Scaramucci, the senior adviser had a chat with ABC’s Jonathan Karl and his daughter.
As Kushner spoke to Karl’s daughter, who worked as a CNN summer intern, New York magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi, who was also present there, reportedly recorded the exchange between the two.
In the conversation, Kushner allegedly spoke to the girl about how interesting a reporter’s job is and how reporters have to figure out who is going to lie to them. While he was talking to her, he realized Nuzzi was recording them. He immediately went up to her and told her that it was off the record.
Kushner asked her to delete the conversation, which Nuzzi declined to do. Even after the refusal, the president’s son-in-law didn’t give up and sent a Secret Service agent and press assistant to resolve the matter and make sure that it was deleted.
The two reportedly told Nuzzi that she is not permitted to record in the West Wing, although she is, and demanded that she delete the video.
“It was tense and uncomfortable, but I didn't want to agree to delete a recording when I was within my rights to record,” said Nuzzi.
The incident goes to show the animosity between Trump’s administration and the media. Most of Kushner’s media dealings are handled by Josh Raffel, White House spokesperson and key lieutenant.
According to sources, the spokesperson conducts “blocking and tackling” for Kushner and his wife and Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.
Both Karl and his daughter refused to comment on the incident. Raffel also declined to speak about it when reached out for a comment.
“He’s very integrated into our press team. I probably talk to Josh 30 times a day. I certainly wouldn’t say he’s doing personal PR, but he handles a lot of things in [Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s] portfolio,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Spotlight Banner: Reuters, Jim Bourg