The State Department investigated complaints into Ambassador Scott Brown during the first month of his New Zealand and Samoa appointment because of a cultural faux pas.
The former Massachusetts senator on Wednesday acknowledged the mounting “rumor and innuendo” that he offended some attendees at a Peace Corps reunion in Samoa by calling them beautiful and even handsome.
“Apparently somebody took offense to that. Fine. I did say that. Gail and I both said that,” Brown said, at times nervously laughing alongside wife Gail Huff.
Scott Brown, former senator known for his looks
Scott Brown, former senator known for his looks
Republican U.S. Senator-elect Scott Brown holds up a copy of the Boston Herald announcing his victory over Democrat Martha Coakley in the U.S. Senate race to replace the the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy at Brown's victory rally in Boston January 19, 2010. Brown won a bitter U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts on Tuesday, dealing a sharp blow to President Barack Obama's legislative agenda and casting doubt on the fate of his sweeping healthcare overhaul. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
U.S. Senator-elect for Massachusetts Scott Brown speaks at a news conference after winning the special election to fill the Senate seat of the late Edward Kennedy yesterday, in Boston, Massachusetts January 20, 2010. Brown, who scored a big win for Republicans by winning a Democrat-held U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts, said on Wednesday that given the wide margin of his victory he should be allowed to take up the seat very quickly. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES)
U.S. Senator Scott Brown throws out the first pitch prior to a MLB baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays in Boston, Massachusetts April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Greg M Cooper (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) speaks during the U.S. Senate Armed Services committee hearing a repeal of section 654 of title 10, United States Code, "Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces" on Capitol Hill on Washington, December 3, 2010. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY SOCIETY POLITICS HEADSHOT)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 21: Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown leaves Trump Tower on November 21, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 1: Wife Gail, daughter Arianna and U.S. Senator Scott Brown and daughter Ayla arrive at the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC on May 1, 2010. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) speaking at the St. Patrick's Day political roast in South Boston, MA. on March 18, 2012. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) appears with former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown (R) on stage at a campaign event where Brown endorsed Trump in Milford, New Hampshire, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) appears with former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown during a news conference ahead of a campaign event where Brown endorsed Trump in Milford, New Hampshire, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts Scott Brown exits after meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 21, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
In his defense, Brown said some of the guests were dressed “all dirty and kind of grungy” before the elegant affair attended by at least 200 people, including the island country’s head of state, Tuimalealiifano Sualauvi II.
To make matters worse during the July 28 visit, Brown then told a server she could “make hundreds of dollars” as a waitress in the U.S.
“Somebody took offense to that as well,” the ambassador conceded.
The inquiry amounted to a mere warning from the State Department, with Brown’s staff telling him to be mindful of what he says in the future.
“I was in fact told by my people, ‘Listen, you know, you’re not Scott Brown from New Hampshire anymore. You’re an ambassador. You have to be aware, culturally aware of different cultures, different sensitivities,’ Brown said.
“I’m always welcoming that kind of good advice,” he told the paper.
During what appeared to be an apparent apology for his conduct, Brown blamed some of the complaints on the volatile political mood in the U.S., and its impact on people he met at the Peace Corps event.
“Listen, politics is a bloodsport back home and at t this event, there were a lot of people that didn’t like the President. Sadly, it’s politics and it is is what it is.”
“Will I say it again? Probably not,” Brown said of his remarks.
Trump appointed Brown to serve as the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa in April and he was confirmed by the Senate in June.