POLITICS
07/25/2014 05:07 pm ET | Updated Jul 25, 2014

Rep. Curt Clawson Mistakes U.S. Officials For Indian Nationals, Awkwardness Ensues

Rep. Curt Clawson (R-Fla.) addressed what he believed were two members of the Indian government at a House hearing on Thursday and assured them that, as a U.S. representative, he would support all efforts to facilitate a better relationship between America and "your country" and "your government."

There was only one problem. The officials testifying before the House Asia and Pacific subcommittee weren't Indian officials at all, but two senior members of the U.S. government.

Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar are Indian-Americans who serve as assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs and assistant secretary and director general of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service, respectively.

Clawson, who succeeded former Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.), continued on by heaping praise upon India while addressing Biswal and Kumar, apparently unaware of his confusion.

"I'm familiar with your country; I love your country," the freshman congressman said. "Anything I can do to make the relationship with India better, I'm willing and enthusiastic about doing so."

"Just as your capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in the U.S., I'd like our capital to be welcome there," he added. "I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your government in so doing. Can I have that?"

Watch the video via Foreign Policy above.

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