Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard says she will personally cover the cost of her recent trip to Syria.
She visited Aleppo, Damascus, and Beirut from January 14-22.
During her trip, Gabbard met with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
In a statement released Tuesday, Gabbard’s office said:
“Though the trip has met every requirement of the House Ethics Committee, the congresswoman has decided to reimburse AACCESS-Ohio for the trip because it has become a distraction from the important issue at hand—do the American people want their taxpayer dollars to continue to be used in support of militant groups working hand-in-hand with al-Qaeda and ISIS in the effort to overthrow the Syrian government? 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.”
Gabbard has come under intense criticism for her meeting with Assad.
“Whatever you think about President Assad, the fact that he is the president of Syria. In order for any peace agreement, in order for any possible viability of a peace agreement to occur, there has to be a conversation with him,” she previously said.