By Bronte Price, PoliticKING
Virginia state senator Richard H. Black, a Vietnam veteran and former Army lawyer who reportedly has a history of controversial behavior, traveled to Syria this week on a three-day trip in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Black met with Assad government officials as part of his ongoing attempt to bring attention to “persecuted Christians.”
“I am hoping to move us away from our insane policy regarding Syria. Syria has greater women’s rights and religious freedom than any nation in the Arab world,” Black told reporters.
“We are allied with two of the most vile nations on earth, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which are intent on imposing a [Wahhabi] fundamentalist government on the Syrian people,” he said.
Black also told reporters that he participated in a lengthy interview with Syrian television. He did not, however, answer questions about how the trip was arranged or funded.
“I will be Syria’s voice,” Black said, according to the state government controlled news agency.
Jeff Ryer, a spokesman for the Senate Republican caucus, did not say who's paying for the trip; however, he did confirm that taxpayer money isn't being used. “Sen. Black is traveling to the Middle East as part of his long-standing efforts to protect the safety of Christians in that part of the world,” Ryer said.
— SyrianFreePress.net (@SyriaNetwork) April 28, 2016
Richard L. Saslaw, Senate Minority Leader, did not seem surprised by Black’s trip to Syria.
“Most people would not be concerned about Dick Black going to Syria,” Saslaw told reporters. “The biggest concern would probably be Dick Black coming back from Syria.”
Black said in an interview earlier this year, that he had reached out to “desperate and hopeless” Syrians. He said that he believes military-age male refugees are dangerous.
“I view it as operation Trojan horse,” he said. “I think they represent a danger because they’re not refugees the way we think of refugees.” Black added, “I love the Syrian people. I answer mail from people in Syria. Times when they have been desperate and hopeless I’ve written to them.”
The Virginia Senator also recently resigned as co-chair of Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign.
“I don’t speak for Cruz on foreign policy and I knew the bias, liberal media would try to make it sound as if I do,” he tweeted.
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