WASHINGTON: Senator Dan Coats had a quick explanation for how he ended up speaking at the wrong hearing - the Russians made him do it.
The Indiana Republican went to what he thought was an appropriations hearing on the defense budget on Wednesday and was posing an appropriate question on that subject when someone handed him a piece of paper.
"I just got a note saying I'm at the wrong hearing," Coats said.
He had thought he was at meeting of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee but instead was at a gathering of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee.
"I think the Russians have been messing with my schedule," he tweeted on Thursday.
Last month Moscow included Coats on a list of congressional leaders and White House officials banned from entering Russia in response to U.S. efforts to sanction Russia for taking over Crimea from Ukraine.
Coats had responded to the Russian move by saying he was disappointed he would not be able to take his family on vacation to Siberia.