February 19th, 2010
07:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Grayson caught in Niger coup

Rep. Alan Grayson will return to the United States Friday.
Rep. Alan Grayson will return to the United States Friday.

Washington (CNN) – Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Florida, narrowly escaped harm earlier this week after being caught up in a military coup in the African country of Niger.

Grayson's press secretary, Todd Jurkowski, confirmed to CNN that Grayson was close to the action. "He heard the gunshots. They were literally in the building next door."

The outspoken congressman was in Niger as part of a congressional delegation focused on science, technology and humanitarian relief, according to Jurkowski. When the situation began to unravel, Grayson was taken to the residence of the United States Ambassador to Niger, where he was placed under armed protection.

On Thursday, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State P.J. Crowley told reporters the U.S. Embassy was monitoring the situation and confirmed Grayson was safe at the embassy. Later that night, a Niger military official announced the country's constitution has been suspended.

Grayson has since traveled to the neighboring country of Burkina Faso, and is scheduled to return to the United States Friday evening.


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soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. File under "Sarcasm"

    Ignoring are the left right wing rants, what kind of junket was this guy on in Niger?

    Most people are passing up their summer vacation trip in this economy but this guy and probably some of his congressional buddies are jetting around the world for "science, technology and humanitarian relief".

    Want to bet they stopped in Brazil for Carnival on the way over and will maybe hit the French Riveria on the way back at our expense.

    February 19, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Steph

    Mike in NYC – you sick racist jerk. We are not a white nation. We are not a Christian nation. We are a pluralistic nation. You can find any reason (or no reason at all) to launch into a racist tirade! Please put your white hood on and crawl back under your rock. Better yet, I bet Beck’s on…run to your tv and be quiet.

    February 19, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. lovable liberal

    The conservative movement is full of nuts. Don't believe me? Read this comment thread.

    It's also full of movement. In fact, they get their movement all over the place.

    February 19, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    @ Steve (the real one), sir, I do not spew hate against Palin. You can read my comments any time. Do I like her? No. However the hateful comments of the conservatives on blogs, TV, radio, etc., are downright scary. Because it is hate that breeds hate and division.

    I did not and do not hate Bush, I believe he was wrong, he broke Constitutional law, but hate, no.

    My concern, Steve, is that all the hate rhetoric will incite some crazy-far-right-nut to do damage to the President of the United States, and then sir, what will your excuse be for all the hate that has been spewed?

    February 19, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    @ "this black liberal hates Obama"....... Lie much? No way do I believe you are ..... a. really Black and b. a liberal!

    February 19, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. GuyInVA

    I wonder how much they would have paid us to take him back.

    February 19, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    I loved his lecture on "bills of attainder" to congress after it passed that ACORN Salem which hunt bill. I think the judge that negated that bill liked it too.

    February 19, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. DeanNC

    wow, the haters sure are out in force today. You know, the same ones calling for more "freedom" to let multi-billion dollar corporations screw us. Tea parties are for 10 year old girls. Grow up.

    February 19, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Niger is fighting an oil war and it makes no difference who you are, it's their oil and they have repeatedly tried to get big oil companies out who have wasted their water and land resources with toxins while they don't profit.

    February 19, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Only the ignorant or extreme libs can’t see that the housing market collapse and subprime loans that caused our economy to tank where championed by Dems."

    Or the occassionally informed person who looks past the mere existence of subprime mortgages (which if left alone to fail would have resulted only in a wave of foreclosures easily recovered from without any "too big to fail" implications) to the shenanigans in which Wall Street engaged to turn profits off those subprime mortgages. Creating securities derivatives with them, under-rating their risk, insuring them at under-rated risk ratings, engaging in credit-default swaps to create the illusion of a market for them and hollographic profits on paper only, then, when the foreclosures come, the one holding them just goes to AIG and says "These toys I created with American peoples' lives are broken...I want my insurance money." And because the risk was under-rated and they had been improperly underwritten and over-insured, guess what? That's right: AIG blowed up like a Ford Pinto taking it in the rear.

    What's most annoying is that you either know all this and still just want to misrepresent the situation in order to put people back in power who let it all happen OR you're too stupid to realize all this and don't care. Choose. We know you're one of those.

    February 19, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. cph9680

    It's a shame they didn't take him out! That's about the only way to shut that imbecile up...

    February 19, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. FRANK, LAS VEGAS

    I'd start an investigation to see if the GOP was involved. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if they were. If there was ever a group that could not be trusted, about anything, it's the GOP!

    February 19, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. MonasteryMonkey

    How about taking care of Americans that are suffering first. Or is it the same old thing with oil?

    Get your sorry butt back to Florida and do something for your constituents.

    February 19, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Leah Texas

    Thank goodness Alan Grayson was not harmed and got out in time!
    Obama 2012
    Grayson 2016

    February 19, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. jake

    henry miller Ture or not true, rep. grayson story didn't cost us over 4000 soliders and billions of dollors like bush and cheney's story of wmd in irag. hope mr grayson runs for president.

    February 19, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. Sean

    Glad to hear that he's okay. Sad to see some of the vile, hateful comments about it here though. I'm completely fed up with the schoolyard insults and incessant wailing by a certain segment of conservatives these days. Grow up and deal with your frustrations like an adult.

    February 19, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    @Lurch... yes, we would have to explain ANYTHING to you 'like I'm five" because that's apparently your competence level. Although 5 year olds haven't yet learned how to be hateful and vicious, so maybe "12"????

    February 19, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. Mitch

    This buffoon should stay there...the US would be better off.

    February 19, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. Watchdog

    I see the ACORN/SEIU crowd is out in force today!
    No one criticizes a congessman going on safari on the publics dime?
    No one points out Grayson's defeat in November is a done deal?
    15 mins are up buddy!

    February 19, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. mjm

    Wisconsonite – Vote for Consumer Protection Regulation of the Financial Industry February 19th, 2010 4:41 pm ET

    I swear, you tea-baggers would eat crap off a spoon if a TEA-publican fed it to you!
    ________________

    If you're not a tea bagger.....you must be a tea baggie.

    February 19, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. BobP

    Alan Grayson and Ron Paul authored the Audit the Fed bill through the House. He can't be all bad.

    February 19, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  22. mjm

    Michael from Ventura February 19th, 2010 4:26 pm ET
    All you right wing nazi idiots just love to rant your hate huh?
    __________________

    The Nazis were socialists. They have more in common with Obama than with the right wing Conservatives. And when we speak of Conservatives, we include fiscal conservatives like Clinton, JFK, Reagan and Bush.

    Liberals represent 10% of the country. That's it. You're the crazy fringe, not the right wing conservatives.

    February 19, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  23. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Mike February 19th, 2010 4:07 pm ET

    That panty wearing bed wetting liberal probably felt the tinkle run down his leg. Maybe he can stay there, we surely do not need jerks such as him back in the US.
    ------------------

    I take it you wash his "panties" and change his bedsheets as his uneducated servant then. You want to see jerks, look at yourself in the mirror and your entire Resluglican Party..minority maggots that they are.

    February 19, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. CJ Joseph

    Whatever ...the fact is Obama is knocking of Democrats far better than the Republicans ever could... the GOP just needs to shut up and let Obama finish off the Dems in November, Gobama !

    February 19, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  25. mjm

    Niger, huh? That's time well spent.

    February 19, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
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