Tea party-type lawmakers take mysterious, off-books trip to Mideast

Reps. Michele Bachmann, Steve King — from Iowa, not New York — and Louie Gohmert made a hush-hush trip to the Middle East this week, flying commercial into high-profile danger zones like Beirut, Cairo and Tripli, attending embassy briefings but declining to release information.

The Washington Post reported the travels, and said the lawmakers’ offices refused to divulge details. Local media, however, captured some of their movements and meetings.

The Daily Star in Lebanon said Ambassador David Hale met with them at the airport and guided them to a greeting with the justice minister, with various faith-based nongovernmental groups and with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea. Mr. Geagea was described in a previous Post report as a “hard-line Lebanese Christian militia leader.”

In Tripoli, the trio met with embassy officials to receive updates on the Benghazi attack and on the general situation in Libya, The Post said.

In Cairo, they huddled with Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi and with interim President Adly Mansour, the Daily News Egypt reported. Their discussions there focused on the “road map” to elections, the media outlet reported.

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