03:17 - Source: CNN
Reporter asked to leave Kushner event in China

Story highlights

Washington Post reporter says she was asked to leave Kushner family event

Jared Kushner's sister mentioned his role in Trump administration during pitch to invest in her family's property

Correction: This story has been updated to accurately identify Rauhala's nationality.

CNN —  

After seeing advertisements for what was described as a “Kushner event featuring Jared’s sister,” a Canadian reporter decided to attend. Then she was asked to leave.

At the event, Emily Rauhala, a Beijing-based correspondent for the Washington Post, was seated apart from her colleague, who faced similar resistance from the hosts.

“Some of her footage and audio was deleted by the event organizers on the Chinese side,” she told Anderson Cooper on Monday evening.

“They actually deleted her recordings?” Cooper asked his guest, who joined the program via Skype.

“That’s right,” Rauhala said, noting that while such a practice is “inexcusable,” it’s “also rather common in China when people get nervous about the press.”

During the event, Nicole Kushner Meyer, the sister of White House adviser and President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, mentioned her brother’s new role in the administration while making a pitch to invest in her family’s property. The New Jersey building makes use of an EB-5 visa program to draw in international investors, including the Chinese.

Kushner Companies later apologized for the name drop, and said it was not intended to be an ‘attempt to lure investors’ to one of its projects in New Jersey.

Though Kushner Meyer didn’t directly connect the event to either her brother or the Trump administration while Rauhala was in the room, the Washington Post journalist told Cooper the message was clear.

“This was presented as a Kushner family event,” she said. “I later heard from another reporter – who tweeted a picture – that there was indeed a picture of President Trump … on a slide that said ‘key decision makers.’”

The event was meant to draw investors for 1 Journal Square, a $976.4 million residential and commercial project underway in New Jersey. The company says about 15% of it will be funded through the EB-5 program.

“The Trump name is what was the draw,” Rauhala told Cooper. “The event generated a lot of interest on the Chinese side precisely because of the connection to Trump.”

CNN’s Cristina Alesci and Jill Disis contributed to this report.