Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke put his foot in his own mouth during a Thursday hearing before the House Committee on Natural Resources by attempting to make a very ill-advised joke about Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s Japanese heritage.
The Hawaii representative first asked Zinke about decisions to cut funding for a memorial to Japanese-Americans interned during World War II, during which she herself brought up her heritage.
“I sit before you the granddaughter of two internees,” Hanabusa stated. “I didn’t even know my grandfather was interned on Oahu for a lot of the war time because he was 80 years old.”
“Even with the president zeroing it out,” she continued, “are you committed to continue the grant programs that are identified as the Japanese American Confinement Sites Program?”
Instead of immediately answering Hanabusa’s question, Zinke responded by saying, “oh, konichiwa.”
Yeah, probably should’ve kept that one to yourself, Ryan.