WATCH: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke makes a fool of himself by trying to speak Japanese with Asian-American congresswoman
Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke during a House Natural Resource Committee hearing. Image via screengrab.

When answering a question from a Japanese-American congresswoman, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tried his hand at the language — only to get his phrasing wrong.

Splinter reported Thursday that during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing earlier in the day, Zinke paused to wish Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) a good afternoon in Japanese before answering her question about grant funding. The only problem — it was still the morning.

"Oh, konnichiwa," Zinke said, smiling at the congresswoman.

After a pause of her own, Hanabusa reminded the Interior secretary that the term he'd used was premature.

"I think it’s still ‘ohayo gozaimasu’ [good morning]," she responded, "but that’s okay."

Watch below:

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