Representatives for the Kushner family reportedly asked journalists to leave the room during a presentation they were making to wealthy Chinese investors in Beijing, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.
Reporters were initially seated in the back of the ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton, but as the presentation began, The Post said that a PR representative for the family asked its reporter to leave, saying that the presence of “foreign reporters threatened the ‘stability’ of the event.”
In one instance, event organisers grabbed a reporter’s belongings, including a phone and backpack, to try to force that person out, the report said. When the event’s attendees began leaving the ballroom after the presentation was over, organisers reportedly surrounded the event-goers to prevent them from talking to reporters.
When a PR rep was asked why reporters were told to leave the event, she said, “This is not the story we want.”
The presentation itself was aimed at convincing Chinese investors to put their money into Kushner 1, a real estate project in New Jersey, in order to secure investor visas, the report said.
The visas are part of the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program, which allows foreign investors to put money into job-creating projects in the US, and then apply to immigrate into the country. The future of the program, however, is uncertain given the president’s campaign promise — and subsequent actions after taking office — to curb immigration into the US.
The event was organised by Chinese company Qiaowei, which connects American companies with Chinese investors. Qiaowei is working with the Kushners to secure funding for their project. The presentation was spearheaded by a woman who’s believed to be Nicole Kushner — she was introduced only as “Jared’s sister,” and reporters could not see her face clearly from the back of the ballroom, where they were seated.
Nicole and her brother Josh, are also the named trustees of first-daughter Ivanka Trump’s business empire after she took on an official role in Donald Trump’s administration, according to The New York Times.
Though this event was not attended by Jared Kushner, who serves as a senior adviser to President Trump, attendees were not unaware of potential benefits and concerns that may arise due to his ties to the White House.
“Even though this is the project of the son-in-law’s family, of course it is still affiliated,” Wang Yun, who attended the event, told The Post.
Wang expressed concerns that an investment in Kushner 1 could go downhill if Trump is unsuccessful.
“We heard that there are rumours that he is the most likely to be impeached president in American history. That’s why I doubt this project,” Wang said.
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