Florida Rep. Curt Clawson sorry he mistook US officials as Indian

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A freshman Republican lawmaker has apologized for mistaking two senior U.S. government officials as visitors from India when they testified at a congressional hearing.

Rep. Curt Clawson caused puzzlement at a hearing of a House subcommittee hearing Thursday on U.S.-India relations. He referred to the South Asian nation as "your country" when he addressed the State Department and Commerce Department officials, both ethnic Indian.

Clawson said in a statement Monday: "I made a mistake in speaking before being fully briefed and I apologize. I'm a quick study but in this case I shot an air ball."

Clawson, former chief executive of an aluminum wheel company, won a special election in April to represent a district in Florida. He is the newest member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

He took over the seat once held by Trey Radel, who resigned over cocaine possession.

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