Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) grills Biden nominee Saule Omarova on allegations of past membership in communist groups: "I don't know whether to call you professor or comrade."

‘I Don’t Know Whether To Call You Professor Or Comrade’: John Kennedy Grills Biden’s ‘Marxist’ Nominee

Harry Wilmerding 

Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy blasted President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Saule Omarova, during a Senate Banking hearing Wednesday.

Kennedy asked Omarova about allegations of her membership in past membership communist groups.

Omarova, who grew up in the Soviet Union, said that growing up, everyone was a member of communist organizations because it was part of the academic curriculum.

When asked if she resigned from the communist organizations, Omarova responded by saying “you grow out of it with age.” Kennedy pressed further, asking for records of her resignation, which triggered Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown to interrupt Kennedy.

Kennedy then questioned her academic and professional history, which included the thesis she wrote at Moscow State University, titled “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital,” and comments she made in 2019 calling the financial sector “a quintessential asshole industry.”

Kennedy acknowledged that Omarova has the right to believe in theories and principles in her past works, saying “I don’t mean any disrespect, but I don’t know whether to call you professor or comrade.”

“Senator, I am not a communist, I do not subscribe to that ideology, I could not choose where I was born, I do not remember joining any Facebook group that subscribes to that ideology, I would never knowingly join any such group,” Omarova responded.

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