California congressman: ?I was not kicked out of Iraq!

THE HILL  – By The Hill Staff – 06/13/11

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) is pushing back against reports that he was ordered to leave Iraq over the weekend.

Rohrabacher, who was visiting the Middle East with other lawmakers, reportedly called for Baghdad to repay the U.S. for some of the money spent since the 2003 invasion. And that didn’t go over so well.

“We called the U.S. Embassy [Friday], and we told them to ask the congressmen to leave Iraq,” government spokesman Ali al Dabbagh said, according to an article posted on “We don’t want them here. What they said was inappropriate.”

In a statement, Rohrabacher denied he and his colleagues were expelled: “There was no change in our scheduling while we were in Iraq. Our itinerary remained exactly the same and we departed as scheduled. We were not officially told to leave the country before we left and were never told or warned not to come back.”

Other members who were on the trip included Reps. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.), according to CNN.

Rohrabacher noted in his release that he will be holding a hearing “into the April 8 massacre at Camp Ashraf in eastern Iraq where 35 unarmed civilians were killed and scores more injured during an attack by Iraqi soldiers.”

He added that his request for access to the site was denied by the State Department and the Iraqi government.

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