At an “intensely awkward” congressional hearing, Congressman Curt Clawson (R-Florida) confused two senior, Indian-American U.S. government officials with representatives of the Indian government, Foreign Policy reported Friday.
“I’m familiar with your country. I love your country. And I understand the complications of so many languages and so many cultures and so many histories all rolled up in one,” Clawson said at a Thursday congressional hearing, according to a Foreign Policy video.
Clawson went on to make a request of the Indian government.
“So just as your capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in U.S. I’d like our capital to be welcome there and for there to be freedom of capital so that both sides are on the same territory. And I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your government in so doing. Can I have that?” he asked.
However, the officials were not in any position to handle Clawson’s request. Nisha Biswal works at the State Department as assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs. Aruk Umar works at the Commerce Department as assistant secretary for global market. According to Foreign Policy, both officials were introduced with their respective titles at the start of the hearing.
Biswal was somewhat perplexed by the line of questioning.
“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. government,” she said.
“Let’s see some progress,” responded Clawson.
Clawson’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
View the exchange below, via FP.
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