Tulsi Gabbard called the financing of her trip "a distraction".
Gabbard has gotten some blowback for her efforts on Assad's behalf, including a recent Washington Post opinion piece entitled How Tulsi Gabbard became Assad’s mouthpiece in Washington
Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has decided to personally pay for her trip to Syria, following new stories about her trip sponsor being a backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Gabbard issued a news release this evening, saying while she has met U.S. House ethics guidelines, the travel expenses for her trip in January have become a distraction from the important issue of whether the U.S. should support terrorists in overthrowing Assad.
“Contrary to baseless claims in the media, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is beholden to no one in the region, her views on the situation are her own, and her determination to seek peace is beyond question,” the news release from Gabbard’s office said.
Her announcement follows a story in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser today, noting that her travel sponsor, Bassam Khawam, and his brother Elie had been members of a group called the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, which according to news reports, has backed Assad and has links to terrorist activities.
The brothers said they were no longer a part of the organization.
Gabbard last week described the two men as “long-time peace advocates.”