Democrat Reps. Eric Swalwell (CA) and Ruben Gallego (AZ) got busted posing shirtless in a photo during a trip to Qatar earlier this year that was allegedly paid for by a special interest group.
Dave Levinthal, a reporter for Business Insider, wrote: “Because sometimes Democratic congressmen need to ride shirtless on camels through Qatar during a pandemic on trips funded by special interest groups. (And yes, we have the photos.)”
He added: “The pandemic-era excursion appears to have happened during a trip funded by the US-Qatar Business Council, a trade group that spent more than $84,000 to fly Reps. Eric Swalwell of California and Ruben Gallego of Arizona and their loved ones to Qatar, along with three other lawmakers, according to the nonpartisan LegiStorm website that tracks such travel.”
“The photos suggest the lawmakers strayed from their official duties during the trip — one of several that private interests have paid for dozens of lawmakers’ travel this year. It’s unclear whether the camel ride violated House ethics rules about privately funded travel,” BI reported.
From The Daily Wire:
The trip came as America was still largely gripped by the coronavirus pandemic and as vaccination efforts were ramping up.
Three other lawmakers, including Reps. Luis Correa (D-CA), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), and Lisa McClain (R-MI), went on the trip but were not featured in photos of the camel ride.
“House rules forbid private groups from paying for entertainment, which could include a golf game, theater performance, or even a camel ride, during such trips,” the report added. “But family members are allowed to tag along, and routinely do so.
The Qatar trip happened despite a surge in coronavirus cases in Qatar at the time, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, now considered outdated, that urged everyone to wear masks even when outdoors and vaccinated.”
The report noted that Swalwell and Gallego’s offices did not respond to questions about whether U.S. taxpayer dollars were spent on the trip.
While Eric Swalwell was scolding people for not following COVID rules he was taking special-interest funded trips to Qatar where he was maskless (and shirtless) riding camels. https://t.co/OulueU83Dh https://t.co/pzQrzcL8Sx pic.twitter.com/4iMTXqihaj— Mike Berg (@MikeKBerg) July 9, 2021
Man wld I love this to age poorly.— Rebeccah Heinrichs (@RLHeinrichs) July 10, 2021
Because sometimes Democratic congressmen need to ride shirtless on camels through Qatar during a pandemic on trips funded by special interest groups. (And yes, we have the photos.)— Dave Levinthal (@davelevinthal) July 9, 2021
From @leonardkl and me: https://t.co/dnTQ8RRHeP