George Tsunis, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next ambassador to Norway, revealed during a recent Senate hearing that he doesn’t seem to know much about…Norway.
The biggest, most glaring admission of ignorance during the hearing came when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) asked Tsunis, a businessman and top Democratic Party donor, about Norway’s anti-immigration Progress Party, which has now joined the country’s ruling coalition.
“You get some fringe elements that have a microphone and spew their hatred. And I will tell you Norway has been very quick to denounce them,” Tsunis said.
This is incorrect. The Progress Party is in good standing with the country’s government.
“The government has denounced them? The coalition government — they’re part of the coalition of the government,” McCain noted.
“I stand corrected. I would like to leave my answer at … it’s a very, very open society and the overwhelming amount of Norwegians and the overwhelming amount of people in parliament don’t feel the same way,” the president’s nominee responded.
Tsunis furthered McCain’s frustration by referring at one point to Norway’s “president.”
Norway doesn’t have a president; it’s a constitutional monarchy.
McCain concluded his role in the hearing on a sarcastic note: “I have no more questions for this incredibly highly qualified group of nominees.”
Tsunis donated approximately $267,244 to the Democratic Party in 2013 and $278,531 in 2010, making him one of the party’s chief donors.
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Featured image via C-SPAN. This post has been updated.