Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul oftentimes made television appearances or attended events outside Washington, D.C., on the days he skipped Homeland Security hearings, a BuzzFeed News review found.
BuzzFeed News was only able to verify that Paul attended five out of 73 Homeland Security hearings from January 2014 to today.
An aide for Sen. Paul said he was "one of the most active members of the U.S. Senate" and noted that television appearances or fundraisers usually did not conflict with the hearings and thus couldn't be the reason for the skipped hearings.
"When schedules conflict, he has chosen to spend his time hearing the thoughts of Kentuckians, and will subsequently receive a full report of pertinent information that was missed from staff in attendance at the meeting," a Paul aide said.
In March 2014, Paul missed a morning hearing on cybersecurity. The topic specifically covered "strengthening public-private partnerships to reduce cyber risks to our nation's critical infrastructure."
Likewise, Paul went on Fox News's America's Newsroom that month to discuss President Obama's use of executive action about an hour before a hearing on the Homeland Security Department's 2015 fiscal year budget featuring DHS chief Jeh Johnson.
In September, Rand Paul appeared on Hannity to respond to President Obama's speech on the Islamic State.
Earlier that day, Paul missed a hearing on terrorism featuring officials from the department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI.
In November, Paul skipped a hearing on Ebola. A month earlier, Paul had made comments on Ebola being "incredibly contagious," "very transmissible," and "easy to catch" that were included in the fact-checking site Politifact's "Lie of the Year."
Later that day he appeared on Fox News' On the Record to discuss Obama's coming executive action on immigration.
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