Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard won’t be at Donald Trump’s inauguration tomorrow.
No, she’s not one of those planning to stay away as a protest.
Foreign Policy reported yesterday:
Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has just departed war-torn Damascus following what her aides described as a “fact-finding” mission to work toward ending the nearly six-year conflict in Syria.
Congressional travel to the devastated country is exceedingly rare, especially as fighting continues in direct violation of a recent cease-fire agreement brokered by Turkey and Russia. This week, Syrian government forces backed by Lebanese militants attempted to recapture a rebel-controlled area near Damascus that includes a pumping station that supplies most of the city’s water.
In its reporting on the trip, The Atlantic called Gabbard “the GOP’s favorite Democrat.”
It also notes:
…her visit to Syria, in theory, may constitute a violation of the Logan Act, which prohibits unauthorized individuals from contacting a foreign government that’s engaged in a dispute with the U.S. It’s worth pointing out, however, that no one has ever been prosecuted for alleged violations of the act.
Meanwhile, Politico reported that Gabbard’s office has refused to disclose who is paying for the trip.
Congressional leaders were blindsided by Gabbard’s trip to war-ravaged Syria with staffers saying she didn’t give the customary advanced warning to Democratic or Republican leadership offices.
Latimer wouldn’t say whether Gabbard met with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Lebanese officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the trip.
Hill insiders say they believe the trip was paid for by a non-governmental organization (NGO) but aren’t sure which one or if it has ties to the Assad regime. The trip, which Latimer called a “fact-finding” mission, was first reported by Foreign Policy.