DFL Rep. Keith Ellison is in Saudi Arabia today. The second term Democrat says on his Twitter feed that he made the trip with business leaders:
I am in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) w/ 16 Minnesota businesses building bi-lateral business relationship. Had 11. Growing.
Ellison also said on his Twitter feed that he met with a Muslim leader on the trip.
Had an excellent meeting w/ the Custodian of the Two Holy Sites yesterday. Very wise and intelligent man.
Custodian of Two Holy Sites is King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz of of Saudi Arabia. 85 yrs. Focused on modernizing very traditional nation
I contacted Ellison's spokesman to find out how long he'll be in Saudi Arabia, who he's traveling with and who paid for the trip.
I'll post the information if/when it becomes available.
Update: Ellison's spokesman says Ellison's trip was authorized and paid for by the Foreign Affairs Committee on which he sits. You can find the full list of participants here. It includes members of the Minnesota Trade Council, Faegre & Benson LLP and Hormel.
Update: Ellison's Twitter feed on Thursday says he's in Israel:
In Israel, driving thru rolling hills into Jeruselam. Beautiful scenes juxtaposed w/ apparent bedoin poverty. Settlements visible from hwy.
Great questions ... I will be looking forward to his responses.
When you asked about who he was traveling with, were you referring to other members of Congress, business leaders, or family members ? Frankly, I don't know why Minnesota taxpayers paid from Mrs. Pawlenty to travel ... and as I recall Mr. Bachmann has made two trips with his wife to Israel. Down here in the First District, Gil Gutknecht took some heat for taking his daughter with him to Germany.
Since Congress is not in session, have you asked the other members of the Minnesota delegation for their travel plans ?
This is a great time for them to do some real outreach to their constituents -- explaining the healthcare legislation, student loan legislation, jobs bills, etc.
I for one would like to know if any are planning campaign time outside of Minnesota.
I understand that because of security reasons, they many not want to divulge foreign trips, but is there any reason why they wouldn't tell us where they will be within America ?