Steve Stockman Details Overseas Travels, Rips Media
Rep. Steve Stockman told Breitbart News he traveled to Russia, Egypt, Israel and England as part of an official congressional delegation and ripped the media for what he described as a made-up story about his absence from Congress and his Texas district.
The Texas Congressman said members of the delegation held press conferences in each city they visited and that a reporter for the Associated Press – the news organization which most prominently raised questions about Stockman's whereabouts – had a reporter at one such event in Egypt.
Stockman said the purpose of the trip was to discuss issues relating to terrorism with foreign governments and said the group of lawmakers met with the President of Egypt and a top-ranking general in Israel.
Though the group of five House members had been scheduled to meet with Vladimir Putin, the Russian President canceled because of meetings in Davos, Stockman said.
Stockman said the group had also wanted to meet with former NSA contractor and whistle-blower Edward Snowden but did not have enough time because of urgent meetings about terrorist threats to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
“We wanted to meet him but that was not paramount as the threat to our people visiting Russia during the Olympics,” Stockman said, adding “We were given classified briefings on Russia."
“There was 5 of us on the trip. They were laughing at the whole steve is missing thing,” Stockman said via text message from London. “In Egypt the press conference was covered by AP, Bloomberg, [National Public Radio], [the New York Times], Reuters, Wall Street Journal, just about all of MSM,” Stockman said, adding, “email the AP guy in Egypt.”
An AP story about how Stockman has held “virtually no public appearances” since launching a quixotic primary challenge against Senator John Cornyn said Stockman had been “recently... spotted” in Egypt, while another AP story by a reporter in Cairo mentioned the delegation had meet with Egypt's interim president. Breitbart News was unable to identify coverage in any of the other outlets listed for any press conference held by the delegation.
Sockman's spokesman, Denny Ferguson, also sent Breitbart News a press release headlined “Stockman returns from official State Department tour, backs Israel, exposes media bias.”
“You must be conservative when you're meeting with the media and the media claim they can't find you. Reporters knew of trip but claimed otherwise. We decided to hold out and see how long reporters would pretended they didn't know I was on official business,” Stockman said, according to the release.
Stockman said the ten-day trip was not the reason he missed the last 15 roll call votes in the House. “I missed votes because I don't have a zillion dollars like Cornyn and have [to] campaign. But I wasn't missing. The Dallas Morning News covered my talk and Cornyn's tracker was there. Both the press and Cornyn knew where I was,” he said.
Stockman appeared Jan. 14 at a Tea Party event in Dallas. The Dallas Morning News covered the event and noted Stockman quickly left the event when confronted by a Cornyn supporter wielding a video camera. The AP reported that was the only “major” event Stockman where had appeared in Texas since launching his primary bid.
Stockman last voted Jan. 9 and missed last week's vote on the omnibus spending vote. Other lawmakers who participated on the delegation trip did not miss votes last week.
During the trip, the group had several close encounters with danger, Stockman said.
“Fun fact, Israel arrested [a] terrorist for trying to blow up our embassy while we were there,” Stockman said. “Don't forget just days after we left Cairo, Egypt 5 bombs went off,” he added.
Before he signed off to go to sleep, Stockman offered one final thought: “It's becoming a dangerous world and the seeds the President unknowningly [sic] or not has sown are going to bear bitter fruit and kill many.”