Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardOvernight Defense: Obama defends Manning commutation after backlash | Mattis clears Senate panel Gabbard makes secret trip to Syria Ten rumored Trump Cabinet picks who didn't get a job MORE (D-Hawaii) missed a hearing on veterans issues in August because she was surfing with a reporter who was producing a profile of the freshman congresswoman, the Honolulu Civil Beat reported.
She later used the video associated with the profile as part of a fundraising appeal.
One of the panelists at the hearing was Wayne Pfeffer, the director of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System, who Gabbard had previously demanded be fired.
When asked previously why Gabbard did not appear at the panel, the congresswoman’s office had not mentioned that she was surfing with reporter Chris Moody. Her spokeswoman told the Civil Beat, an online news outlet, that the Yahoo News crew had gotten stuck in traffic, delaying the shoot and causing her to miss most of the meeting.
“Once Congresswoman Gabbard realized how late she would be, she decided not to go because she felt it would have been disruptive and disrespectful to just show up at the end,” the spokeswoman said.
Gabbard, who is a veteran, is serving her first term in the House.