Louisiana GOP Sen. John Kennedy is standing by his decision to grill Saule Omarova, Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
During her Senate confirmation hearing last week, Kennedy asked the Soviet-born Omarova about any possible ties to communist youth groups, which led to Ohio Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown jumping in and going after Kennedy.
During an interview on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, Kennedy stood by his line of questioning.
“Senator, thank you for your time. You had quite an interaction yesterday on the nominee to be the comptroller. How did that go over?” host Bill Hemmer asked.
“Well, I just think — I mean, it’s clear to me, based on her current records — the current record, that the President has nominated a neo-socialist,” Kennedy said.
“And I asked her a question yesterday, and during my time to ask her a question, given that she went to Moscow state university and studied scientific communism, I asked her if she had ever been a member of the Communist Party. And it took me a couple of questions, but she finally said yeah,” he added.
“And then Sherrod Brown, my chairman Sen. Brown, went crack-brained on me and tried to stop me from asking questions and I politely told him to shut up. I just think the American people are entitled to know that the President has nominated somebody to regulate our banks who believes, as she said, in getting rid of banks, and she has been a member of the Communist Party,” Kennedy continued.
Hemmer then concluded, “We’ll see if she survives.”
Kennedy gained a lot of attention last week when he grilled Omarova.
Kennedy said at one point he didn’t know whether to call her “professor or comrade.”
Specifically, the Louisiana Republican made reference to Omarova’s Soviet upbringing and her apparent support for the Marxist/socialist economic models preferred by that regime.
“You used to be a member of a group called The Young Communists, didn’t you?” Kennedy asked as he opened his questioning of the woman Biden picked to oversee American banks.
“Senator, are you referring to my membership in the youth communist organization while I was growing up in the Soviet Union?” Omarova responded.
“I just wanted to ask you that question,” Kennedy stated. “There was a group called The Young Communists, and you were a member, is that right?”
“I’m not exactly sure which group you are referring to,” Omarova responded.
“Well, the formal name of it is the Leninist Communist Young Union of the Russian Federation, and it’s also known as the Leninist Komsomol of the Russian Federation, and it’s commonly referred to as The Young Communists. Were you a member?” Kennedy asked.
Omarova said, “Senator, I was born and grew up in the Soviet Union.”
“Yes, ma’am, but were you a member of that organization?” Kennedy persisted.
“Everybody in that country was a member of the Komsomol, which was the Communist Youth organization,” she said.
“So you were a member?” Kenndy pressed further.
“That was a part of normal progress in school,” she responded.
“Have you resigned from The Young Communists?” he asked.
“You grow out of it with age automatically,” she answered.
“Did you send them a letter, though, resigning?” Kennedy pressed.
“Senator, this was many, many years ago. As far as I remember how the Soviet Union worked was at certain age, you automatically stop being a member,” she declared.
I just wanted to see if you looked at your records and see if you find a letter of resignation. I’ve spent a lot of time on your record, and here’s what I found. This is America, you can believe what you want, but we can’t just let anybody be comptroller of the currency.
You wrote your thesis in college at Moscow State University; the title was, “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and The Theory of Revolution in The Capital.” But you won’t send Senator Toomey a copy. You studied at university, at Moscow State University, scientific communism, which is the science regarding the working-class struggle and the socialist agenda. In 2019, not 30 years ago, in a Canadian documentary, you called the financial services industry “a quintessential ass**** industry.” You wrote a paper called “Systemically Significant Prices” calling for the federal government to set wages, food, gas prices.
In 2020, you wrote a paper called “The People’s Ledger,” where you said we need to abolish bank accounts and make everybody set up an account at the Fed where the federal government will have access to your data. In 2020, you wrote another paper called “The Climate Case for a national Investment Authority,” where you said what we need to do to the oil and gas industry is have the federal government bankrupt them so we can tackle climate change. In 2019, you joined the Facebook group, a Marxist Facebook group, to discuss socialist and anti-capitalist views.
He finished with: “Now, that’s what I see from your record, and you have the right to believe every one of these things. You do; this is America… But I don’t mean any disrespect; I don’t know whether to call you professor or comrade.”