Congressman mistakes U.S. officials for Indian nationals

"I am familiar with your country. I love your country."

If you missed this embarrassingly awkward moment from last week, here you go. It's simultaneously awful and amazing... During a House hearing on Friday, Rep. Curt Clawson, a freshman Republican congressman from Florida, mistook two senior U.S. officials for representatives of the Indian government. Oops.

Freshman Congressman Mistakes Senior Government Officials for Foreigners

You have to give a tiny bit of credit to Clawson. He seemed eager to show that he's a fan of India and its culture. He told Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar as much: "I am familiar with your country. I love your country."

But you see, that's the thing, Rep. Clawson. Their country is your country -- the United States, of which Biswal and Kumar are citizens and hold high-ranking positions in the State and Commerce Department, respectively.

Here's video of the ass-awkward moment:

Biswal serves as the assistant secretary of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and Arun Kumar is both the Commerce Department's director general of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service and the assistant secretary for Global Markets. They were both introduced as U.S. officials before testifying before the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

As you can see, Biswal offers an incredibly patient response to the congressman's gaffe, pausing before saying, "I think your question is to the Indian government, and we certainly share your sentiments, and we certainly will advocate that on behalf of the U.S."

Clawson has since apologized, saying he spoke before being fully briefed and "shot an air ball." No kidding. Clawson saw two brown people sitting in front of him and that was apparently all the briefing he needed.

More here: Curt Clawson sorry for nationality gaffe

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