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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Opens Up On Syria Trip


The bias against Gabbard’s trip…

Tulsi Gabbard in New Trouble Over Her Syria Jaunt

Daily Beast – The controversial Hawaii lawmaker appears to be running afoul of House ethics rules over her trip to Syria. As if a secret meeting with a bloodthirsty dictator wasn’t bad enough.

Tim Mak | 02.07.17 8:20 PM ET

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s visit with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has already raised controversy. Now she’s in hot water yet again for failing to comply with House ethics rules. Gabbard hasn’t yet submitted the required disclosure forms which detail who paid for her trip, and who else she met while she was in Syria.

Gabbard received international attention for urging a political solution in Syria through outreach to Assad, whose government has engaged in mass violence against its own people and a documented regime of torture.

The Hawaii Democrat is required to show, in detail, where the money came from to pay for her trip, but her travel disclosures are missing the document which describes this. Gabbard lists as her sponsor a little-known group called AACCESS-Ohio, which has been in and out of existence since 1991 and does not have a functional webpage; its resources are unclear, at best. If AACCESS-Ohio received money from other sources to pay for her trip to Syria, these documents are supposed to show it.

In the face of criticism for taking the trip to Syria and meeting Assad, Gabbard said that she would be reimbursing AACCESS-Ohio for her trip to Syria last month. But the required forms would indicate if the original plan was to take funds from outside entities.

Her disclosures are also missing the required agenda that would show her schedule during the trip, which would list the various individuals she met while in Syria. Both of these documents were due in December, although Monday was the deadline for publicizing them.

Gabbard’s signature is visible in a section of the forms attesting that all her required forms are filled out, but this is not the case.

During her trip to Syria, Gabbard brought along two men, Elie and Bassam Khawam, affiliated with an anti-Semitic political party that has a history rooted in fascism. The two are officials in the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, which is currently actively engaged in the Syrian civil war on the side of the Assad regime. Until recently, Elie was listed on the SSNP’s website as the “Chief of Cross-Border Affairs.” The two also appear to be part of AACCESS-Ohio; The Guardian previously reported that Bassam Khawam was the executive director of the organization.

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