Updated, 1:50 p.m.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and four Republican senators traveled to Afghanistan this week, becoming the second congressional delegation to visit the country so far this spring recess.
McConnell’s deputy chief of staff, Don Stewart, confirmed the visit by McConnell and Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a former U.S. Trade Representative. The trip had not been previously announced for security reasons, but photos of the delegation’s visit appeared Thursday morning on the U.S. Embassy Kabul’s Flickr photo-stream.
The senators met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and members of the Afghan parliament as well as Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Also appearing in the photos is Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who was not part of the McConnell delegation. Carper spokeswoman Emily Spain confirmed that the senator had traveled separately to Kabul.
As The Post’s Al Kamen reported, the McConnell-led delegation traveled earlier this week to Seoul, where the senators discussed the pending U.S.-Korea trade deal and other issues in a meeting with Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
McConnell’s trip to Afghanistan came on the heels of a visit by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who led a six-member House delegation to the country on Tuesday and Wednesday.
(Correction: An earlier version of this story inaccurately reported that McConnell was traveling with four freshmen senators. Johanns is not a freshman senator, and the story has been corrected.)