Saudis Tried To Court CNN’s Tapper, Fox News’ Baier With Super Bowl Tickets, Flights

attends CNN's Jake Tapper in conversation with Bernie Sanders during SXSW at Austin Convention Center on March 9, 2018 in Austin, Texas.
Steve Rogers Photography/Getty Images North America

As part of a broader effort to court influence in Washington, D.C., Saudi officials attempted to buy favor with some of CNN and Fox News’ biggest personalities earlier this year by offering them tickets to the Super Bowl and private flights to an event honoring the crown prince, The Washington Post reported.

Officials specifically sought out CNN’s Jake Tapper and Fox News’ Bret Baier with the tickets and offers of a chartered flight to an event in recognition of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to D.C. Both Tapper and Baier turned down the gifts, according to the Post.

The attempts to get cozy with top-tier U.S. reporters is just one of several aspects of Saudi officials’ efforts to curry favor in Washington by courting lobbyists and D.C. influencers alike. Those efforts have come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks as the U.S. responds to reports that Saudi officials allegedly murdered Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Read the Post’s full story here. 

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