‘You Can’t Just Interrupt Me!’: John Kennedy Explodes On Dem Senator In Tense Exchange

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy sparred with Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown over alleged interruptions made during questioning at a Thursday Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Brown, who served as the hearing’s chairman, interrupted Kennedy during his questioning of President Joe Biden’s nominee for the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Saule Omarova about her alleged past involvement with a group called “The Young Communists” while living in the Soviet Union.

“Senator Kennedy, I don’t interrupt, I almost never interrupt these, but—,” Brown began.

“You almost always interrupt me, Senator … You’re not the witness, she is,” Kennedy said.

The Louisiana senator asked Omarova to show the Senate a letter of resignation from the youth communist group. He read a list of papers the nominee reportedly wrote regarding climate change and anti-capitalism.

When Omarova finished answering, Brown argued that he never interrupted Kennedy during the hearing. (RELATED: ‘I Don’t Know Whether To Call You Professor Or Comrade’: John Kennedy Grills Biden’s ‘Marxist’ Nominee)

“Well that’s not true, Mr. Chairman, and I’m entitled to ask my questions,” Kennedy replied. “And I didn’t interrupt you when you gave your introduction and I don’t like being interrupted when I’m asking my questions. It’s called senatorial courtesy.”

“And you may disagree with me, that’s why you have five minutes and I have five minutes,” he continued. “You can’t just interrupt me when I’m asking my questions and you’ve done it before.”

Brown pushed back, saying that senatorial courtesy involves avoiding “character assassinations,” to which Kennedy said they both have the right to their opinions.

The Democratic senator cited Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who reportedly claimed at the hearing that Republican senators did not “insinuate” that Omarova was a communist.

Omarova has received widespread backlash from Republican Senators for her past writings where she had formerly praised Marxism and proposed “to end banking as we know it” through a “democratization of finance.”

While attending Moscow State University, the nominee wrote her thesis on Marxism called “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution.” Then, in her book “The Seven Sins of Wall St: Big Banks, Their Washington Lackeys, and the Next Financial Crisis,” she admitted that Karl Marx caused her to become “disillusioned with official Soviet ideology.”

Brown previously blasted Republican Sen. Pat Toomey for pointing to Omarova’s alleged communist connections in an Oct. 6 statement.

“Before today, I thought, red scare McCarthyism was rightly relegated to the dustbin of history. Any American citizen who fled communist repression—whether it be FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams or OCC nominee Saule Omarova-should be lauded for their courage and conviction.”

“I believe my colleagues —from both sides of the aisle—will reject such character assassination,” he said.