Franken opposes Obama's Norwegian ambassador pick

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Sen. Al Franken has joined Sen. Amy Klobuchar in opposing President Barack Obama's pick to serve as ambassador to Norway.

Franken says he agrees with Minnesota's Norwegian-American community – the largest in the nation – on their doubts over whether New York businessman George Tsunis would be an effective ambassador, according to a news release.

Franken sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday telling him that he won't vote in favor of Tsunis "because of broad and deep concern about the administration's nominee" within the state's Norwegian-American community, News in English Norway says.

Tsunis faced a lot of criticism for his lack of knowledge about Norway's government during a hearing in front of the Senate Foreign Relations committee earlier this year.

“What I have heard from Minnesotans is that Mr. Tsunis’ performance at his confirmation hearing and the controversy that followed it will make it impossible for him to serve effectively as our ambassador to Norway,” Franken wrote in a letter to Kerry. “Many Minnesotans have expressed concern that Mr. Tsunis’ remarks during the hearing have deeply damaged his credibility with the government of Norway, the people of Norway, and the American people.”

The Norwegian-American community in Minnesota has been very outspoken against Tsunis. T. Michael Davis, a longtime member of Minnesota's Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce, expressed his concerns about Tsunis in an editorial in the Star Tribune in February.

Franken said he'd vote against confirming Tsunis if it came to a vote in the Senate. Klobuchar told the Obama Administration earlier this year that she opposed the nomination, the Associated Press reports.

Next Up

police tape, crime scene

One dead in head-on crash in west-central Minnesota

The incident occurred on Highway 27 near 150th Avenue.

Joe Biden

14 executive orders President Biden signed on his first day in the White House

Biden is turning back many of the moves made under the Trump administration.

plow, snow

NWS: Accumulating snow likely this weekend in Minnesota

Fluffy snow will pile up in some locations on Saturday.

Jaden McDaniels

Wolves lose to Magic on Cole Anthony's buzzer-beater

The Wolves blew a 20-point lead as the Magic defeated the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

J.A. Happ

Twins sign veteran J.A. Happ to add to the rotation

The left-hander will get a one-year, $8 million deal from the Twins.

storm the capitol rally st. paul minnesota state capitol

BCA finds 'no criminal wrongdoing' among those at 'Storm the Capitol' rally

Inflammatory comments were made by speakers, but no charges will be brought.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 12.27.04 PM

Man's vehicles crushed by hit-and-run driver weren't fully insured

The goal is to raise $25,000 to help the south Minneapolis resident.

Joe Biden

Key points from Joe Biden's first speech as POTUS

The 46th president called for unity at a time America is facing huge challenges.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 20

The 111 ICU patients is the fewest in Minnesota since there were 109 COVID patients in intensive care on Oct. 1.

Related