April 4th, 2014
08:43 AM ET
7 months ago

Oops moment for senator: He shows up at wrong hearing

Washington (CNN) - Dan Coats has a sense of humor.

The Republican Senator from Indiana is jokingly blaming Russia for his showing up and questioning of a witness at the wrong subcommittee hearing.

"I think the Russians have been messing with my schedule," Coats said on Twitter, kidding about a possible conspiracy from Moscow.

Coats was one of a handful of U.S. lawmakers singled out by Russia in counter sanctions last month following initial sanctions by Washington and European allies over Moscow's annexation of neighboring Ukraine's autonomous Crimean peninsula.

Coats' tweet was referring to his mistake earlier Thursday, when the Appropriations member appeared at the wrong subcommittee hearing. During a lengthy introduction to a question, he began to commend a witness for his department's quick response to a letter Coats had sent.

After an aide slipped him a piece of paper, Coats interrupted himself, saying "I just got a note saying I'm at the wrong hearing."

The witness, David Cohen, the undersecretary of treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, responded, saying "Well, that would explain why I didn't know anything about this letter."

Coats went on to say that "this is the first time this has ever happened to me," adding that "I saw some familiar faces and I thought this is where I should be," and "I'll go try to find out where I'm supposed to be."

Coats served two terms in the Senate in the late 1980's and 1990's. Later he served as U.S. ambassador to Germany before winning election back to the Senate in 2010.

The mishap was first reported by the Washington Post.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Dan Coats • Senate
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Coats a republican shows up for the wrong meeting,how irresponsible of him..But honestly republicans have been of late running so many meetings,committes with Issa ,others that you have to have a map,schedule to see your itinerary for yourself every day...Just ask any republican obstructionist ,he'll tell yah...

    April 4, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  2. Dar

    Don't worry Senator, Obama gets lost all the time too. LOL

    April 4, 2014 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  3. Dennis Freeman

    Said he would try to find out where he should be? How about retired

    April 4, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  4. salty dog

    You want scandal, D.C. clothesline, m. H. Three. Seventy. Exif file good in court friends

    April 4, 2014 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    He served in the Senate in the 1980s. Hmm. Let's pretend that he's a Democrat, so that we can feed our right wing friends.

    April 4, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  6. salty dog

    Perfect gop,

    April 4, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    During a lengthy introduction to a question, he began to commend a witness for his department's quick response to a letter Coats had sent.

    After an aide slipped him a piece of paper, Coats interrupted himself, saying "I just got a note saying I'm at the wrong hearing
    -------------------------------------------------
    I LMAO behind this one!
    Thank you CNN for starting off my day with a gut shaking belly laugh.

    April 4, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  8. Gurgyl

    --–what else is wrong when entire nation of old population is wrong by watching Fox garbage just to figure point the progress this nation is now having, while covering millions to Healthcare, while stock market is proving its success to stronger capitalistic society, while No wars, no foreign aide to Pakistan etc, millions of children covered under parents insurance till 26, millions not denied for pre-existing condition patients, while jobs data shows 192,000 new jobs added to the progress. GOP is is just out of touch, out of truths, out of control. God bless this beautiful nation on earth, the USA.

    April 4, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  9. Steve Schmidt

    He obviously does not pay attention to his job since he can't do anything without his aides. He gives cookie cutter rubber stamp answers from a piece of paper handed to him. How do you hold someone like that accountable for lack of action and due diligence? Remove them.

    April 4, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Coats went on to say that "this is the first time this has ever happened to me," adding that "I saw some familiar faces and I thought this is where I should be," and "I'll go try to find out where I'm supposed to be."

    Ah, well. Stuff happens ... even to our well paid senators coming off of one retirement after another.

    "Coats served two terms in the Senate in the late 1980's and 1990's. Later he served as U.S. ambassador to Germany before winning election back to the Senate in 2010."

    April 4, 2014 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  11. salty dog

    Well, the Republicans are busy it seems, this from a group that won't seriously work on any issues, but plenty of time for 50 repeal votes, so easy to get them to vote on that, but can't get them to put a clean bill keeping our government functioning, nice. All the work they are willing to do is what their rich contributors tell them too. They run the gop, and if you can't see that, your not looking, at all. Their only efforts have been to restrict the vote, take away women's rights, and of course kill them nasty workers rights groups, those evil unions that protect your rights as a worker, that's why they put so much effort into smearing unions, research the hostess debacle, the workers were taken for a ride, and the unions took the blame, of course upper management seemed yo fall out with a golden parachute, some of that money they stole from the union.,but you don't hear that part.

    April 4, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. NYVeteran

    Must be a tea partier. Facts, timelines, and schedules don't matter to them, just monosyllabic talking points memos from Fa ux News.

    April 4, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  13. Whereisthemiddle?

    Everyone should be allowed to make mistakes on occasion. Yes, even political figures.

    April 4, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. salty dog

    So many investigations, easy to get confused, yet nothing ever ends, perpetual suspicion is their goal,... pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. ... sigh..

    April 4, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  15. tammo

    Is this really news? Shame on you news media for reporting this crapola.

    April 4, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  16. rainwash

    A real story would be about how Democrats go to hearings and spend all their time praising the person (normally one of their own) that is supposed to be questioned for wrong-doing.

    April 4, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. Gerry

    Lets hope the worthless lazy voters of his state, who have voted him back into office each time will realize he is giving them NO representation, only taking their money and running with it.... IF we see he has been re elected his next election time, we will start bombarding that state with VOTE BLUE MESSAGES.... HE is another reason EACH candidate should be investigated before your vote is given....

    April 4, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. salty dog

    The u.p.s. workers should never have signed a contract where you cannot strike, as a union rep, that seems unusual. I understand a strike could immediately cause serious problems, so there would have to be something serious to warrant it, which they didn't have, let the unions work on retaining his job, if you didn't do anything wrong they can help you, act irresponsibly, and there is a price, just like any other place of employment. Do unions help keep some people who don't deserve their jobs, I'm sure it happens,just like people getting off on technicalities, its necessary to tolerate, for the greater good it does for the rest. Not a perfect world.

    April 4, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Whereisthemiddle?

    Everyone should be allowed to make mistakes on occasion. Yes, even political figures.
    ------------------------------------
    Yes, even voters. <--------[bait]

    April 4, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  20. CGDoc

    CNN wouldn't have even mentioned if he had been Democrat.

    April 4, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  21. Rosslaw

    This is why Al Queda, Putin, the Peope's Republic of China and every other hater of America want the Repubs back in the White House. And thanks to John Roberts and Co.'s rewriting of the U.S. Constitution, they can now contribute the money to make that happen.

    April 4, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  22. Keith

    Old and without a clue, the description of most of Washington DC

    April 4, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  23. Galileo Darwin

    Why is this considered news? CNN, I forgot where I left my keys yesterday. You should probably report this to the world.

    April 4, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Lynda/Minnesota

    "Coats went on to say that "this is the first time this has ever happened to me," adding that "I saw some familiar faces and I thought this is where I should be," and "I'll go try to find out where I'm supposed to be."

    Ah, well. Stuff happens ... even to our well paid senators coming off of one retirement after another.
    --------------------------
    I guess it was a good thing that he was looking for the hearing room and not the restroom.

    April 4, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Term limits anyone? :)

    April 4, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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