Envoy Scott Brown Is Warned After Remarks to Guests
Ambassador to New Zealand says he'll be more 'culturally aware' in future
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2017 11:15 AM CDT
In this Jan. 8, 2015, file photo, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown greets people at the State House in Boston.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – The US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa is blaming the "blood sport" of politics for the kerfuffle he's in over comments he made while visiting the latter islands. Per the New York Times, witnesses told local media that former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown acted "obnoxiously" at a July Peace Corps event in Apia. Brown confirmed Wednesday to New Zealand's Stuff that there had indeed been an "administrative inquiry" by the US State Department into his behavior and that he'd been warned to be more "culturally aware." The Guardian reports the complaints apparently came from two female Peace Corps members. The remarks revolve around him telling guests at the event they looked "beautiful," as well as noting to a waitress she could make "hundreds of dollars" if she were a waitress in America.

But while Brown says he did compliment guests on their appearance, he says he'd seen them before the event looking "dirty and grungy" and that they'd cleaned up so nice he felt compelled to compliment them. He also says he made comments about both women and men, and that his wife, Gail Huff, made similar remarks. As for the waitress, he says he was simply noting she was doing a "great job," per the Times. Why he thinks the complaints against him are politically motivated: He's a Trump supporter said to have the president's ear. "At this event there were a lot of people [who] didn't like [Trump]," he told Stuff. "Sadly, it's politics, and it is what it is." He did note, however, he'll try to be more culturally sensitive in the future. Huff says the experience "has been a real learning curve" and that she was by her husband's side at all times and "literally saw nothing. It's absurd."

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