Congressman Mistakes Two Senior US Gov't Officials For Foreign Indian Gov't Officials

from the ouch dept

This is one of the most painful Congressional videos you’ll ever see. A freshman Congressman, Curt Clawson, was in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday, where two senior US government officials — one from the State Department and another from the Commerce Department — were testifying. Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar are both Americans. But apparently Clawson had absolutely no clue — even though he was in the hearing and both of the panelists were introduced as US officials. Spotted by Foreign Policy, Clawson was apparently so confused by the color of their skin and their names, that he just assumed they represented the Indian government. The video is… just painful.

Clawson starts out by talking about how much he loves “your country.” He also, apparently, talked about his favorite Bollywood movies. But when he wanted Biswal and Kumar to “commit” to better relationships concerning investment from the US into India, a very, very awkward pause followed. Finally, Biswal says:

“I… I… I think your question is to the Indian government. We certainly share your sentiment, and we certainly will advocate that on behalf of the U.S.”

In response, Clawson, with a very awkward smile says “Of course! Ok. Let’s see some progress!”

We’ve seen some awkward Congressional testimony situations before, like when a Senator walked into the wrong hearing and asked an unrelated question for a witness who wasn’t there. But that was just reasonably laughed off. Just this morning, we wrote about Rep. John Conyers mid-question epiphany that his stance on copyright conflicted with his stance on preventing overcriminalization. But Clawson’s confusion is really at quite another level of ridiculousness. People make mistakes, of course, but if you’re in a Congressional hearing, you should at least know who is testifying and if you don’t know, you probably shouldn’t assume their nationality based on the color of their skin and their names.

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Comments on “Congressman Mistakes Two Senior US Gov't Officials For Foreign Indian Gov't Officials”

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Dick Cheney says:

All it was was a simple mistake

Curt Clawson and I were some of the few people that had downloaded and installed that Chubby Checker. Too bad it’s not available any more.

Simply he was fiddling around with it(his phone I hope, he knows there are cameras in there) while the witnesses were introduced, looked up, read the names and was thinking about ordering a new set of size 14’s (he only wears a 7 in 2A width, look it up, he he.) to really pump up his stats, when he assumed that any one that brown and not related to Brad and Angelina must be from India.

I’ve made the same mistake sooooo many times. That is why all my documents are still classified.

Have fun ‘yall let me know the next time you are up in Jackson WY we could go hunting.

Curt Clawson says:


My name is Curt Clawson and I demand that this video be taken down immediately! I’ve spoken briefly with my European counterparts (at least I *think* they were European — it’s hard to tell these days), and they’ve told me I have a constitutional right to be forgotten (or something like that).

Be reasonable, Techgoogle! You’ve already taken down articles about convicted pedophiles and shady politicians, so you shouldn’t have a problem removing something really embarrassing, like this video. I mean, I can’t make you unsee my provincial little blooper, but I can sure try!

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