Several Democrat members of Congress flew to Doha, Qatar, over the weekend to attend the annual Doha Forum and meet with members of the Qatari regime. But if you’re a constituent or observer, it’s as if the trip never happened.
Conservative Review has found that Democrat Reps. Donald Norcross (N.J.), Dan Kildee (Mich.), Jim Hines (Conn.), Dr. Ami Bera (Calif.), Brendan Boyle (Penn.), and Andre Carson (Ind.) all attended the weekend’s Doha Forum. This information was only found thanks to Qatari state media and a single Twitter post by Ben Smith, the editor of BuzzFeed, which was a sponsor for the Doha Forum.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs met with a delegation of members of the US Congress, on the sidelines of the 18th Doha Forum.
The meeting discussed the strategic cooperation relations between Qatar and the U.S., and issues of common concern. pic.twitter.com/KS5UwK3bO2
— Qatar News Agency (@QNAEnglish) December 16, 2018
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) December 15, 2018
In addition to the Democrat representatives, the Doha forum was populated by a disturbing number of radical activists and the leaders of terror-tied countries.
The Security Studies Group wrote a short piece on who I found attended the Doha Forum. Speakers included Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, an ISIS-tied Turkish official, and a radical anti-Semitic Columbia University professor, to name a few.
The annual Doha Forum has commenced. Let's see what's on the agenda for our Qatari "allies" (thread)
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) December 15, 2018
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) December 17, 2018
I reviewed the representatives’ social media accounts and websites found that none of them discussed their weekend trip to Doha. Nothing on Twitter. Nothing on Facebook. Nothing on their congressional websites.
Qatar is arguably the world’s foremost state sponsor of Sunni terrorism, but that hasn’t stopped connected D.C. beltway “elites” and members of our legislative branch from taking Qatari money and influential capital or from attending high-profile events hosted by the Qatari government.
CR has previously reported on Qatar’s $20+ million yearly lobbying campaigns throughout the United States, in which the Doha regime targets influential individuals, organizations, and officials to lobby for its priorities. As another form of quasi-lobbying, the energy-rich nation also makes multibillion-dollar investments in U.S. states, industries, and companies.
In recent years, the Qatari regime has taken strides away from its partnership with the United States and has instead realigned with hostile regimes such as Iran and Turkey. The country’s royals remain ultra-cozy with the Muslim Brotherhood and active jihadist groups in the Middle East. Qatar’s neighbors (which are U.S. allies) have accused Doha of attempting to undermine their governments and fan the flames for foreign-backed revolts to depose domestic officials.