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Governor Brownback's Secret Trip To Israel Revealed

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback made a secretive trip to Israel this summer and met with the prime minister there.

Gov. Brownback flew to Israel with his wife and one of his daughters at the end of August and had a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is only coming out now because of an investigative piece in the Hutchinson News.

"This is one of the stranger stories involving a Kansas governor I’ve seen," says Washburn political science professor Bob Beatty.

Beatty says the governor’s office seemed to mask the visit by sending out a steady stream of press releases in his absence, never hinting he was away.

The Kansas Department of Commerce says it was a business trip to strengthen trade. It was arranged by Overland Park businesswoman Margie Robinow, who established a company to handle the logistics two weeks after getting the state contract and went on the trip with Brownback.

President Trump has nominated Brownback to be Ambassador for International Religious Freedom. 

Frank Morris has supervised the reporters in KCUR's newsroom since 1999. In addition to his managerial duties, Morris files regularly with National Public Radio. He’s covered everything from tornadoes to tax law for the network, in stories spanning eight states. His work has won dozens of awards, including four national Public Radio News Directors awards (PRNDIs) and several regional Edward R. Murrow awards. In 2012 he was honored to be named "Journalist of the Year" by the Heart of America Press Club.