Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Report: Saudis Offered Super Bowl Tix To Anchors

CNN's Jake Tapper, FOX News' Brett Baier
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.

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. I've never accepted anything like that. But I wondered: who said yes?"

According to The Hill, a spokesperson from Fox News told the Post that Baier also rejected the offer. 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 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.

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