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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 3:15pm

    Go ,Floriduh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 3:41pm

    "Freshman Congressman"

    I've seen high school freshmen (and -women) smarter than that!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 3:58pm

    USA is one big joke.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 4:08pm

    Just another smug, ignorant white man talking down to the brown people of the world, what a surprise, not!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 4:25pm

    Re:

    Read up on Trey Radel, the guy Clawson replaced. Everything will make sense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Dick Cheney (profile), Jul 25th, 2014 @ 4:45pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 5:33pm

    Oh, our country is soooo fucked. People these fools are the ones you have elected to run our country. THIMK (not a typo) before you vote!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    scotts13 (profile), Jul 25th, 2014 @ 5:50pm

    Anyone can make a mistake

    Even people who we supposedly all selected NOT TO make mistakes. But it takes a special kind of fool to make fatuous and self-service comments based on that mistake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 8:03pm

    Re: All it was was a simple mistake

    Don't forget to tell me 'go f*ck yourself!'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Curt Clawson, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 10:37pm

    Hi,

    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!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2014 @ 7:48am

    Re:

    Yup, where everyone is the same.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2014 @ 9:34am

    Re:

    Don't blame me, I voted for Kudos.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    John Deri, Jul 26th, 2014 @ 8:48pm

    A congressman without a clue.

    A congressman without a clue. Are we surprised? He owes both of those people a profound apology.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jul 27th, 2014 @ 6:10am

    IQ Test?

    Isn't there an IQ test to determine if someone is smart enough to be a Congressperson (or allowed to serve in government in any capacity)?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2014 @ 6:46pm

    Well…

    He's a bald, condescending white man, with a very ethnic name. How do we know he's not an agent of the British government?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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