‘Do You Also Believe In Bigfoot?’: John Kennedy Grills Head Of Federal Agency Rocked By Sex Scandal


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Jason Cohen Contributor
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Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy on Thursday questioned Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg during a Thursday hearing about his leadership at the agency.

The FDIC’s workplace culture is plagued by inappropriate conduct, including “sexual harassment, discrimination, and other interpersonal misconduct,” according to a recent report by law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Kennedy was incredulous that Gruenberg believes he is the ideal person to run the FDIC and told him he should resign. (RELATED: ‘We’ve Got Some Cleanup To Do’: Former FDIC Chair Says There Will ‘Probably’ Be More Bank Failures)


“Do I understand you, sir, that you believe you’re the person to clean up the FDIC?” Kennedy asked, to which Gruenberg answered affirmatively.

“Do you also believe that Elvis is alive?” Kennedy followed up, to which the chairman answered he does not.

“Do you also believe in Bigoot?” Kennedy asked, with Gruenberg answering he does not.

Close to one tenth of employees at the FDIC reported workplace misconduct to the law firm’s tip line in its investigation of the agency. The incidents “did not occur in a vacuum” and were caused by a “misogynistic,” “patriarchal,” “insular” and “outdated” workplace, according to the report.

“You’re not going to be able to clean up the FDIC because you’re going to be too busy defending yourself in court,” Kennedy continued. “I’m going to introduce a bill to increase the statute of limitations to allow every employee at the FDIC to file suit over the sexual abuse and the sexual discrimination and this racism. And you’re going to be spending all your time in court.”

“You fixing this agency, Mr. Gruenber, is like asking Alec Baldwin to conduct a course in gun safety,” Kennedy added. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself … Have you ever read a worse report, Mr. Greenberg?”

Gruenberg has a reputation for possessing a temper, based on employees’ examples in the report.

“It’s a bad report, Senator,” Gruenberg acknowledged.

Kennedy then asked Gruenberg to apologize to FDIC employees sitting behind him at the hearing.

“I apologize,” Gruenberg said, turning around to address them.

“And now I think you ought to resign,” Kennedy concluded.

Republican Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner told Gruenberg he should be fired rather than resigning on Wednesday.

Police in 2017 responded to a rape report at an FDIC-owned hotel, according to police records obtained by conservative watchdog American Accountability Foundation and shared exclusively with the Daily Caller News Foundation. FDIC employees utilized the 11-story hotel in Arlington, Virginia, as a venue for partying, The Wall Street Journal reported in November.

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