The “Morning Joe” hosts and panelists were outwardly disgusted Friday over the “cynical and hateful” questioning by Sen. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) of Saule Omarova, Joe Biden’s appointee to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
During a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Thursday, Kennedy called Omarova “comrade” and suggested she might be a Communist because she was born in Kazakhstan.
“You might look at that and think that Sen. Kennedy is stupid,” MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said. “No, he’s not. He knew exactly what he was doing. He went to Oxford. This is going around in the Republican Party: People with Ivy League degrees — people that went to Oxford — try to play as dumb as possible for the cameras. They’re not fooling anybody. That was just as cynical and hateful of a spectacle, attacking somebody because they were born in a — under a — totalitarian regime.”
Co-host Mika Brzezinski fumed: “Look what she’s done and what incredible accomplishments in her life and now wanting to serve. This was sick. This was really hard to watch. It made me want to cry.”
Omarova, a Cornell University law professor, previously served as an adviser to the Treasury Department under former president George W. Bush, a Republican.
“Senator, I’m not a communist,” Omarova said at one point during the hearing. “I do not subscribe to that ideology. I could not choose where I was born.”
Omarova, like all children in the Soviet Union, was expected to participate in a Communist youth organization. Kennedy asked her if she ever resigned and pushed her even after she explained that children age out of the program with no formal resignation requirement. She pivoted to explain that her family suffered under communism, which ultimately propelled her to the United States and fueled her dream to live here and serve her adopted homeland.
Watch above, via MSNBC.