Report: Hawaii Dem missed veterans hearing to surf with reporter

Greg Nash

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSaudi skeptics gain strength in Congress Lawmakers seek answers on Pentagon employees' casino, strip club charges Man arrested for allegedly threatening Hawaii Dems 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.

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Gabbard was scheduled to attend a field hearing being held in Honolulu by the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee addressing issues with the Veteran Health Administration. Gabbard was shown leaving the shore at 9:15 a.m. in the video, which was produced by Yahoo News. The meeting was set to begin at 10 a.m.

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.