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Oklahoma representatives accepted more than $300,000 in international gift travel

In total, $318,772.56 was spent on Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, Rep. Steve Russell, R-Choctaw and former congressman James Lankford, now a U.S. Senator. 

Representatives traveled to Israel, Turkey, Belgium, Spain, Germany Canada, Croatia, the Netherlands, Argentina, Morocco, Ireland, Italy and Azerbaijan. 

The organizations that paid for the trips include:  U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, American Israel Education Foundation, The Aspen Institute Congressional Program, Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange, The German Marshall Fund of United States and the Turqoise Council of Americans and Eurasians.

Often the delegates said the reason for the trips were based on shared strategic interests, growing relationships and giving opportunities to educate members of Congress and their staffs on issues related to the organizations and the countries they visited.

Any member who wishes to participate in a privately sponsored trip must receive written permission from the House Ethics Committee and submit a pre-trip certification confirming the trip was not financed by a lobbyist or foreign agent.

Former representative and current Oklahoma Governor, Mary Fallin, and former representative John Sullivan also served during this search window, but neither traveled internationally.

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Adam Kemp

Adam Kemp is a news and health reporter for The Oklahoman. He grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Read more ›