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Congresswoman Picks Surfing Interview Over Veterans Hearing

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard was surfing for a Yahoo News video when she was scheduled to attend a Senate hearing.
Posted at 1:16 PM, Oct 07, 2014

In August, a Hawaii congresswoman missed a hearing about veterans care. Not really headline-making news, right? 

Well, now a reporter is claiming U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was actually surfing when she was supposed to be at that hearing. 

Chad Blair from the Honolulu Civil Beat reports although Gabbard's staff originally just said "an earlier commitment ran very late," it later acknowledged "she was instead tied up with a Yahoo News reporter in Waikiki where she was surfing for a video the news outlet was shooting."

Yahoo was interviewing Gabbard for a segment called "Extreme Recess," which looks at how U.S. representatives spend their time outside of D.C. 

GABBARD: "Every time I come home, my first stop is the ocean."

Now, we should point out the Yahoo interview isn't just about surfing. Gabbard also discusses the president's use of military action without a formal declaration of war from Congress and measures being taken to address problems with VA hospitals. 

According to her website, Gabbard served two tours of combat duty in the Middle East and remains part of the Hawai'i National Guard.

Because of this, it's no surprise Gabbard is passionate about the issues veterans face. 

Which is why many were stunned when she failed to show up for that August hearing, reported to be "the first Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on veterans' health issues outside of Washington, D.C. since the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Phoenix scandal broke."

Gabbard's press secretary told the Honolulu Civil Beat that the Yahoo interview got started late because the reporter was stuck in traffic and that the hearing would have been almost over by the time the congresswoman would've arrived. 

Gabbard has not made any comment yet herself, but her press secretary says her staff is currently looking into its scheduling process. 

This video contains an image from the U.S. House of Representatives